Lee Finney was Production Manager at Batchelors (then still part of Unilever), Ashford, when I first became involved with statistical process control and the exciting discoveries (from a personal level) about the ability that mathematics has to interpret sense from nonsense. "Cusum" analysis of data plus X-bar and range mapping - all in a day's work for this long-haired factory floor operative! Things have moved a long way since those times, yet I remain fascinated by the power of data interpretation and where it can be usefully applied (almost everywhere being the answer in my case)
Lee once said to me "You'll only discover your limitations when you're finally out of your depth!" It was lost on me, at the time, but I now know exactly to what he was inferring. Modern businesses rely on these techniques to remain relevant; read profitable? I was extremely fortunate to have had some inspirational guides, during this period. Professor Yamashina (The Japanese Institute) and Sam Turner (Statistics4industry) being key players (Sam also knew, had worked with, Tony Chester - the one time Tench record holder and fellow Tring Syndicate member, so we had so much more than numbers to talk about)
Now, whilst it would seem that FSIS don't require to utilise my previous experiences with their own onward journey, whatever happened to TIM WOODS? I am still able to use these mathematical tools to aid my own development as I seek to glean the best from my outdoor experiences. My anal desire to record the most insignificant detail of my angling has allowed me to identify trends, notice patterns that could, otherwise, easily be overlooked? It is a very sad reflection on the times in which we live - allowing number crunchers to take the upper hand? Yet I remain a great fan of the use of maths/statistics to show the way forward? It might, now, manifest itself in hook size, bait choice or peak period for success - maths can provide an answer for all these questions, provided adequate data has been analysed? I have used this methodology for our approach to pike fishing at Loch Awe, with great effect - identifying the key factors of our presentation and bait choices under a number of varying weather scenarios.
So here we are, fast approaching December 2015, and I'm on a mission. Before my 60th birthday (04.12.2015) can I capture my December eel? I've studied the water temperatures, looked at previous captures and the various locations where these slimy pests have been active during the winter months.
Not why Lee had introduced me to the concept - but a great way of using my learning to further the chances of a successful conclusion to the, self imposed, challenge I've embarked upon. My data is deeply flawed, thus my conclusions will also be very skewed, as I've omitted many factors that could contribute major influence over these wild creatures and how they behave under differing water temperatures and weather patterns. As my approach to this project was very off the cuff, thus are my basic correlations of similar stamp - they are little more than educated guesses, backed up by a few disjointed diary entries. I'm enjoying myself and if this exercise does little more than keep me motivated, it will have been worth while. The more experience I gain, the more records I have at my disposal, only then will any meaningful conclusions be able to be drawn from my juggling with numbers. Until then, the BBC 5-day forecast is of equal importance to any other reference I have explored!
If I'm totally honest with myself, I'm bloody delighted that the complexities of our natural world can't be unravelled by the mumbo-jumbo of calculus and equations. I seek assistance, not answers, and in as much as I am able - love the process of analysis which, in turn, aids my confidence in any given situation. It would seem that the next three evenings have all the attributes to see my December eel in the net? I have no opportunity to pre-bait, thus am reducing my chances of success, but feel that I have to be in with a shout if I can get out? Sorry if this post has a very industrial feel - it's a manifestation of the "buzz word" culture that now dominates the modern business ethic. A place where I feel completely at home - if you understand, and abide by, the rules, it's a very simple game to play!