# PRECISION VS ACCURACY – The precise can lead us away from the main bulleye but the accurate gets the ‘gist’ of it.

Likely, yes. Analogy might be more fitting. I often use them interchangably, even though I’m aware of the difference, as I’m not shooting for precision but rather accuracy with low precision.

But see, this is my point and it’s a difficult one to convey properly:

Highly accurate can have a low precision.

My gun is accurate but not precise. I can’t guarantee that I will hit the specific bulleye every time but I will be in the proper “range”.

However, one can be high precision with low accuracy. I find this to be potentially more dangerous: You can hit a mark precisely and be precisely wrong because it is inaccurate.

Hence, my tendency towards broader synonymous terms rather than precise terms.

The precise can lead us away from the main bulleye but the accurate gets the ‘gist’ of it.

I’ll give an absurd example: Pi.

Pi can be computed to 10 billion places. But if the answer begins: 9.314159265.. and continues to the 10 billionth place, it is better to say that Pi = 3.

I’m shooting for “Pi is somewhere on the high end of the 15th percentile (of 100%) between 3 and 4″

Does this help? How do I convey high accuracy/low precision when you are shooting for high precision?

Of course high precision/high accuracy is ideal but sometimes that gets people into trouble for often what they THINK is high precision/high accuracy is in fact high precision, low accuracy… but are fooled by the precision and not noticing that the target turned out to be over there somewhere.