## Thursday, February 25, 2010

### Significant Figures

Dear 103s,

We have look at the Singapore Budget Report 2010 for a start.

Please go through the slide again and let us think through why does the Finance ministry only publish the first 3 digits in the report.

1. This comment has been removed by the author.

2. The finance ministry publish the first three digit only because they do not want to make a confusion if they need to tabulate it. Making it three digit only also let us calculate easier. Whats more, there is no need to make it more than three digit as the digits at the back are useless as they could not provide any information. Thus the finance ministry only publish the first three digit.

3. This comment has been removed by the author.

4. Q1) Does this means that only \$6.98 billion will be collected this year?

Ans: No, this amount as stated, is only the estimated amount for this year 2010 thus there would be a slight change in variation of the amount.

Q2) Why does the finance ministry only shows the first 3 digits?

The Financial Ministry shows only the first 3 digits in this SG 2010 budget report, is to avoid confusion in the calculation or totaling up process and also when readers are reading through report, it would make it easier for having all the '0's at the back are redundant, thus only the first 3 digits are shown in this report..

5. No, not only 6.98 billion as the number might change slightly throughout the year.
The finance ministry does not publish all the decimal places of the number as the numbers are estimated and it nearly impossible to find out the exact amount. For this report, precision is also not that important as it is just a estimation to let Singaporeans know how much of the countrie's money is going to be spent on what.

6. \$6.98 billion will not be collected this year only as this is just as estimate. There is no way someone could actually predict the exact amount, and if they do, they will be too many digits which might be confusing.

7. 1)Does this means that only \$6.98 billion will be collected this year?
No, 6.98 billion is only an estimation because if they list out all, there will be an endless list of numbers and it could not come to an exact number.
2) Why does the finance ministry only shows the first 3 digits?
They only shows the first three digits so that it will be easier for people to count and calculate if there is an endless list of digits for that number. Only the first few digits will make quite a difference to the number so the digits behind were just extra. It will also not make them confuse to calculate everything.Thus, they only shows the first three digits.

8. 1) Does this mean that only \$6.98 billion will be collected this year?
No. The figure is an estimation. No one needs to know the exact value and all they need is up to 2 decimal places.

2) Why does the finance ministry only shows the first 3 digits?
If all the digits were shown, it would be very confusing to see with all the numbers and all others need is a rough gauge, not the exact figures.

9. 1)Does this means that only \$6.98 billion will be collected this year?
No, the amount is estimated. Therefore, more than or less then \$6.98 billion would be collected this year. It is not necessary for people to know the exact amount.

2) Why does the finance ministry only shows the first 3 digits?
I think that only the first three digits of the quantity is stated so that it is easier to read the amount. At the same time, the reader would not be confused by the many numbers. This also enables calculations to be done easily.

10. (1) Does this means that only \$6.98 billion will be collected this year?
No, the amount is estimated. We do not need to know the exact amount collected.
(2) Why does the finance ministry only shows the first 3 digits?
As the finance ministry does not want to cause confusion, they decided to only publish the first 3 digits, making it easier for calculations and reading. If more digits are published, those digits will be considered as extra digits as they do not provide much difference in the calculations. These extra digits would also make the number seem longer and readers would only scan through the front digits of the number which are usually the first 3 digits. Hence, the finance ministry only publish the first 3 digits in the report.

11. 1) Does this means that only \$6.98 billion will be collected this year?
No, the amount given is only estimated. It is not necessary to get the exact amount.

2) Why does the finance ministry only shows the first 3 digits?
If all the digits are given, the slide would be very untidy which will make it difficult to read as it causes confusion but when the first three digits are given,it is neat and easy to be read.

12. 1. Does this means that only \$6.98 billion will be collected this year?
No, it does not mean that only \$6.98 billion will be collected. The number is only an estimation and is subjected to change.

2. Why does the finance ministry only shows the first 3 digits?
The finance ministry only prints the first three digits because if they put in all the figures in the report, the numbers will become very long and unsightly making readers of the report distracted and confused. The report will also look very messy as there will be a lot of numbers. That is why, to solve this problem, the finance ministry only puts the first 3 digits in the report.

13. 1. Does this mean that only \$6.98 billion will be collected this year?

\$6.98 billion isn't the exact number as there will be other numbers behind \$6.98. The exact amount may vary because it is only an estimation based on 2010's budget.

2. Why does the finance ministry only shows the first 3 digits?

As the figures are in billions (9 0's), it is quite a big number, and to have a number that has a lot of numbers in the 9 slots (e.g. 6,987,654,321) would make it rather confusing for readers, and the actual concept would be hard to grasp.

14. !) Does this means that only \$6.98 billion will be collected this year?
no,as it is only an estimation to make things easier
2) Why does the finance ministry only shows the first 3 digits?
If it were to show the exact figures,it would be very long and confusing.

15. 1) Does this mean that only \$6.98 billion will be collected this year?

No, that is just an approximation. It is not really important for us to know the exact value that will be collected this year.

2) Why does the finance ministry only shows the first 3 digits?

If all the digits were shown, the number will be very complicated. Anyway, we do not need to know they very exact amount as we just need to get a rough gauge.

16. 1) does this means that only \$6.98 billion will be collected this year?
No as this is just an estimation to help calculate easily
2)Why does the finance ministry only shows the first 3 significant figures?
If it were to show everything, it would need more paper to fill up all the information.

17. firstly, its only an estimate so no
secondly, it is so that people do not get confused and also to make the number look nicer, and not too messy and also as the first three are the most important figures

18. No, 6.98 million is just an estimation and not the exact amount.
The first three digits are the first three most significant figures and the if the rest were to be shown, the paper would have to be much bigger

19. 6.98 is an approximation as the number will keep changing while the budget is issued,thus rounding it off.

20. 1) No it i just an estimation

2) They only show the first three digits as this figures are just an estimation and they subject to change