But one man brought statistical evidence to the analysis of the disease. Physician John Snow marked on a map the location of each death in the area. The pattern showed fatalities clustered around a water pump on Broad Street (now Broadwick Street), persuading him that this was the source of the outbreak. Snow presented his evidence to the panic-stricken council, who removed the pump's handle to make it unusable. The epidemic was already in decline, but Snow's pioneering analysis played a key part in ridding Britain's slums of the disease. Business has its unexplained problems too - an under-performing team or a new product that just won't shift. As Snow's dedication shows, it pays to ignore common wisdom and apply a bit of targeted analysis. Sometimes that can solve far more than the immediate problem.
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