Making effective calculations and estimates is very important in some aspects of most careers. Your numeracy skills can make or break your ability to forecast system load or budget short-comings.

The Numeracy* skill is categorized into two areas (calculation and estimation), with up to 5 levels having up to 5 dimensions.

  • Calculation
    • levels 1-4
    • dimensions operation and translation
  • Estimation
    • levels 1-5
    • dimensions:
      • Whether there is a set procedure
      • Number of factors comprising the item being estimated
      • Amount of information available
      • Consequence of error
      • Degree of precision required

Some examples:

  1. Calculation; Level 1; operations required : Compare application load times to norms to determine if computers and operating systems are running efficiently.
  2.  Calculation; Level 3; operations required : Schedule work and determine the amount of time it will take to complete projects. They organize task lists, plan around vacations and holidays and balance workloads to determine the time it will take to complete projects.
  3. Calculation; Level 4; operations required : Create operational budgets, for example, network and system administrators calculate operating costs for networking, messaging and website systems. They consider costs for staffing, overhead, supplies, goods, services and special projects.
  4. Estimation; Level 1; Amount of information available: Estimate the time required to repair software glitches or add new features.
  5. Estimation; Level 2; Number of factors comprising the item being estimated: Estimate the number of users who will access applications using an analysis of items such as number of points of access and size of user populations.
  6. Estimation; Level3; Whether there is a set procedure: Estimate the amount of time required to develop software applications. There is no set estimation procedure; computer programmers usually look at old work plans to determine approximately how long similar programming took in the past and they subsequently adjust their estimates by comparing the complexity of both projects. Estimation errors can have a significant impact on project costs and ability to deliver products or release applications in time.









* See Government of Canada Essentiall Skills Guide for more inforation.