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Principles, Process and Practice of Professional Number Juggling by Alan R. Jones

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6 Data normalisation — Levelling the playing field

‘When was anything ever ‘normal’ in the life of an estimator?’ I hear you muse.

The key to creating sound and robust estimates is that we base our analysis and judgement on facts that represent the past and the present, and assumptions that represent the future (perhaps an oversimplification, but true in essence). For this, we require data and knowledge that express factual information in a meaningful manner. When we are collec ting data for the purposes of estimating, we will usually collect anything that appears remotely useful that we can recycle. Laudable though this eco-friendly approach may seem, it does present us with the problem that the data in its raw form often cannot (or, rather, ...

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