If you walked into a bar and average the incomes of the patrons, you would get a number you would find believable. But if Bill Gates walked in and you take the average, you’d get a much high number but not necessarily a meaningful one.

Looking at the average of any data set can be very misleading if you don’t have a good misunderstanding of the distribution. That’s why it’s often helpful, and more meaningful, to take the median (the number for which half the data is below, and half is above) as more representative of the data.   

One of the more interesting metrics regarding a median is personal income. Visual Capitalist offers a neat map of median 2024 personal income by state. Check it out and compare to what you’re paying your employees. A short article for your team drives home the point.