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Posted By Eric Ross, Monday, March 26, 2018

Significant Figures and Rounding


Do companies have a policy for rounding of estimates?


What many estimators may have forgotten from their K-12 education days is when you are required to round to "an appropriate number of significant digits".  


What are significant digits?  Well, in short, they are the digits that provide us useful information about the accuracy of a measurement or calculation.


My guess is companies do not have a policy for rounding and rely on the tools used to produce an estimate like spreadsheets or software.


As estimators, are you concerned about significant figures and rounding of an estimate?


Eric Ross, CPE

Standards Committee

Tags:  standards 

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Comments on this post...

Christopher Rozof says...
Posted Tuesday, April 10, 2018
We typically will round estimates based on the level of precision we want to convey to the client. While conceptual cost models may be able to return a value of, say, $32,529.35 there is no way that is accurate and would be misleading the client as to the precision of the estimate. On a conceptual level we believe showing a value of $32,500 is generally more appropriate.
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