Here is an email I got this morning:

Wednesday’s ADP number suggested a sub-200K reading for today’s May BLS jobs report. That would be a significant disappointment after April’s robust 288K. But ADP is far from a flawless indicator. So estimates for today’s number are all over the map. Some analysts still expect another number well above 200K. Moody’s Mark Zandi emails: “May payroll employment should increase by 185,000 and the unemployment rate will tick back up to 6.4 percent. While the expected job gain is a bit disappointing … it is encouraging that the job gains are increasingly broad-based across industries, pay scales, and regions of the country.

“Underlying job growth, abstracting from the vagaries of the monthly data, is close to 220,000. This is a step-up from the 185,000 monthly average experienced in the three years 2011-2013. Behind this pick-up in job growth is the swing from government job losses to modest gains and steady solid gains in construction employment. Job growth of 220,000 per month is about double the pace of job growth necessary to reduce unemployment, even at a normalized pace of labor force growth.”


So here is the challenge – Determine what is Actionable from this story.

Here are the steps to determine “What Is Actionable”:

  • Determine your “Intent.”
    • This is the first and most important thing.
    • You need to figure out what you want to accomplish.
    • For me, there is nothing immediately actionable.  But, for a Stock Broker there may be.
  • Determine the “Facts.”
    • What is the ADP – The ADP National Employment Report® is published monthly by the ADP Research Institute® in close collaboration with Moody’s Analytics and its experienced team of labor market researchers. The ADP National Employment Report provides a monthly snapshot of U.S. nonfarm private sector employment based on actual transactional payroll data.
      • Defining the ADP as what it is should be easy to confirm as a “Fact.”  The ADP exists and is published monthly by the ADP Research Institute
    • Is the ADP Accurate?  Probably not.  But here is the key point, is it accurate enough for your Intent?
      • This is a good example of how “Facts” are “Fungible.”  Or what is a “Fact” can change based on the “Eye of the Beholder.”
  • Determine the “Conclusions.”
    • Based on the data presented what are your conclusions.
    • This is the analysis phase
    • Given everything you know, what do you conclude from this group of bits.
    • Most importantly does this group of bits change your mind on anything?
    • For me, since I cannot know if the key data (the ADP Numbers) are truly a “Fact” I can draw no “new” conclusions about this.  The fact that I can draw no new conclusions is in itself important.
  • Finally determine what is “Actionable.”
    • If you went to the time and effort to read and analyze this group of bits, what do you do with it.
    • Since I don’t believe the “Facts” and I draw no new conclusions may action is to not do anything with this.

Do you see how this works?  This is how I see a Learning Community operating.  I would like to see experts figure out if there are new facts and if there are new conclusions from those facts.

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