Posted by: Jim Adcock | January 25, 2013

Pareto Would Be Proud

Vilfredo Pareto (1848–1923) was an Italian economist who studied efficiencies in distribution in economic systems.  He is the originator of what has come to be known as Pareto principle and as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity.

Roughly, the principle has come to be understood as the idea that 80% of your benefit comes from 20% of your resources, or that 80% of your time will be spent taking care of 20% of your responsibilities.

In reality there is nothing magic about the number 80%; it is a general tendency between 50% and 100%, and the same applies to the 20%, as a general tendency between 0% and 50%.  But often the 80/20 ratio tends to be pretty close if not dead on.

Case in point, my main blog, Working It Out.  As of today, I have 131 posts, and I have 130,550 page views.  If we apply he Pareto principle, then 26.2 posts should account for 104,440 page views.

The top 26 (19.85%) posts account for 103,333 (79.15%) page views.  The top 27 (20.6%) posts account for 104,099 (79.74%) page views, and the top 28 (21.37%) posts account for 104,789 (80.27%) page views.

That’s damn close to 80/20.

Jim Adcock is a SharePoint Administrator, and blogs about SharePoint at his main blog, Working It Out. He is also Vice President of Launch Pad Job Club, an organization in Austin, Texas, whose mission is help people who have lost their jobs to get the skills they need to land their next job, and to help them cope with the interim between jobs. Consequently, Jim also blogs about career management. Not long ago he served as Secretary on the Austin Software Process Improvement Network Board of Directors, but left the post to look for a mythical creature he’s heard rumors of, called “sleep”. He’s still searching…


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