Someone was saying that fractions are still used in business (somewhere in the world) but I don't know for what. Does anyone actually display numeric values with fractions in a business context? For what?
Summary of answers:

  • they are more informative because they show the sample size (denominator).
  • fractions of an inch (still widely used)
  • a ratio of hits per views in online traffic bidding
  • ⅘ dentists surveyed recommend fractions for their patients who chew pencils.
    – user67695
    Apr 18, 2017 at 16:41
  • 1
    ⅔ of Internet Users are too young to get my jokes.
    – user67695
    Apr 18, 2017 at 17:05
  • no comprende :(
    – Devin
    Apr 18, 2017 at 17:28
  • 1
    @Devin "It's a riddle." (from the song "Mexican Radio")
    – user67695
    Apr 18, 2017 at 17:29
  • +1 for Mexican Radio, guess I'm in the 1/3 :( . Now seriously, guess most statistic sites or any site dealing with math formulas are proper user cases for using fractions. Same goes for educational sites or even food recipe sites
    – Devin
    Apr 18, 2017 at 17:33

3 Answers 3


The way you choose to display data affects how people interpret it. For instance 9, 9/10, and 90% all represent the same value.

  • When an individual sees just 9 (e.g. "Preferred by 9 clients"), it does not tell them very much. All they know is that 9 people feel X about something.
  • 9/10 is more informative; it tells the individual that 9 people feel X about something, but 1 feels Y about it.
  • 90% is more useful if you want to obscure quantity. It may be a good thing that 9/10 people feel X about something, but what if 10 is not a good sample size? It is better to use percentages if you feel that your sample size may not accurately reflect what you are trying to convey.
  • 1
    Obscuring data is typically a marketing strategy for presenting the most appealing data. If there is "information you need to run the business" that does not sound like marketing, but some sort of internal business information. Apr 18, 2017 at 17:18
  • OK. Chalk up one use case. I'll take it.
    – user67695
    Apr 18, 2017 at 17:19

In the business I work on, fractions are used all the time to measure things.

So, this thing could be 1/4 of an inch, or 1/8, or 1/16 and they are used, communicated and displayed like that.

It's unpractical to use 0.25, 0.125 and 0.0625 when you can just use 1/16.

The screwdriver bits are on this standard measures, so, the fractions should be used to represent them.

  • I always wondered how halves, quarters, etc. become so prevalent when tenths seem so much more natural?
    – user67695
    Apr 18, 2017 at 17:52
  • Or you could use mm ;)
    – Darren H
    Apr 18, 2017 at 20:28
  • 1
    @DarrenH but the inch is so much more precise. It is exactly 3 barleycorns long. None of that mucking about with wavelengths of light and so on. Any idiot can verify the accuracy of an inch, it is based on something in the natural world.
    – user67695
    Apr 19, 2017 at 13:08

In the marketplace of buying and selling online "traffic".

For example I have a site I want people to sign up for and I will pay 10 cents to any affiliate who refers a third party who signs up. I might advertise this offer like this

CPA $0.10, CR 1/400

An affiliate network would see this and understand that I will pay $0.10 for each sign up (Cost Per Aquisition) and I expect on average 1 sign up for every 400 hits. They will use this information to decide how much to bid for this traffic.

Source: Working in the industry and doing this every day

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