In my seminars, I enjoy teaching analytics because the fun is in finding effective and memorable methods to help people understand the concepts. One of my favorites is an analysis of the Red-Shirt Phenomenon in Star Trek.
What? You don’t know about the Red Shirt Phenomenon? Well, as any die-hard Trekkie knows, if you are wearing a red shirt and beam to the planet with Captain Kirk, you’re gonna die. That’s the common thinking, but I decided to put this to the test. After all, I hadn’t seen any definitive proof; it’s just what people said. (Remind you of your current web analytics strategy?) So, let’s set our phasers on ‘stun’ and see what we find…
The basic stats:
The Enterprise has a crew of 430 (startrek.com) in its five-year mission. (Now, I know that the show was only on the air for 3 years, but bear with me. 80 episodes were produced, which gives us the data to build from.) 59 crewmembers were killed during the mission, which comes out to 13.7% of the crew. So, that will be our overall conversion rate, 13.7%.
More charts are graphs are available on the other end of that link. Lesson: It’s pays to be an officer.