2.9 Accuracy and Precision

A key difference between non-technical and technical terminology is that non-technical terminology is accurate without being precise. 

  • Accuracy is a general description or characterization that is free of errors or misrepresentations.
  • Precision is a specific accounting of details that enables the receiver to take successful action without mistakes.

A metaphor for accuracy without precision would be when asking for directions, someone replies, “Go west about 5 miles.” This direction may be accurate, but it is not precise. It becomes precise when someone replies, “Go west 4.7 miles to Main St. Turn right and proceed three blocks.”

Type of TerminologyAccurate?Precise?
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