There’s a lot of ways to articulate the amount of change between two or more numbers. Very often an explanation can be interpreted in more than one way, and/or hide important elements of truly how much something has changed. Unfortunately there is no one right answer, but we do think there is an answer - and it’s to use all metrics of change, all of the time. In doubt, better to give too much information than less.

**Pros vs. Cons**

There's more than just one "pro" and "con" for each change metric, but below represents a simplified perspective:

Metric |
Pro |
Con |

Absolute |
Understood, and wanted by most people |
Not normalized against a baseline (e.g. +$10k is great if you start at $10, but not so much if you start at $10bn) |

Basis Point |
Easy to articulate a small amount of change |
Confusing for most people (1 Basis Point = .01 Percentage Points, thus 100 Basis Points = 1 Percentage Point) |

Multiple |
Arguably the most concise way to articulate change |
Not interpreted equally by most people (e.g. 200% = 3x, not 2x) |

Percent |
Normalized against a baseline (Dividing by "Start Figure") |
Starting with a small baseline can create a deceiving perception (e.g. $1 to $20 = 1,900%) |

Percentage Point |
Understood, and wanted by most people |
Easy to disguise large "Percent" movements (e.g. 2% to 4% = 2 Percentage Points, but 100 Percent) |

**Formulas**

Below is a table that shows exactly how to calculate each change metric for percentages (% to %) and real numbers (# to #). Take note that Basis Point and Percentage Point apply solely to percentages, and that dealing with percentages are always a bit easier when converted to decimal form (at least we think so):

Metric |
Formula: % to % |
Formula: # to # |
Formula Appendix |

Absolute |
See: "Percentage Point" |
End Figure - Start Figure |
- |

Basis Point |
(End Figure - Start Figure) * 10,000 |
NA |
Convert %'s to real numbers. Add "BPs" at the end |

Multiple |
End Figure / Start Figure |
End Figure / Start Figure |
Convert %'s to real numbers. Add "x" at end |

Percent |
(End Figure - Start Figure) / Start Figure * 100 |
(End Figure - Start Figure) / Start Figure |
Convert %'s to real numbers. Add "%" at the end |

Percentage Point |
(End Figure - Start Figure) * 100 |
NA |
Convert %'s to real numbers. Add "PPs" at the end |

**% to % Examples**

Below are a few examples showing the results for measuring change between percentages. Each percentage is first converted to decimal form. The first and last row show the entire formula.

Start Figure |
End Figure |
Absolute |
Basis Point (BP) |
Multiple |
Percent |
Percentage Point (PP) |

3% |
-1% |
See: "PP" |
(-.01 - .03) * 10,000 = -400 BPs |
-.01 / .03 = -0.33x |
(-.01 - .03) / .03 = -133.33% |
-.01 - .03 = -4 PPs |

3% |
1.25% |
See: "PP" |
-175 BPs |
0.42x |
-58.33% |
-1.75 PPs |

3% |
3.35% |
See: "PP" |
35 BPs |
1.12x |
11.67% |
.35 PPs |

3% |
5.25% |
See: "PP" |
225 BPs |
1.75x |
75% |
2.25 PPs |

3% |
120.15% |
See: "PP" |
(1.2015 - .03) * 10,000 = 11,715 BPs |
1.2015 / .03 = 40.05x |
(1.2015 - .03) / .03 = 3,905% |
1.2015 - .03 = 117.15 PPs |

**# to # Examples**

Below are a few examples showing the results for measuring change between real numbers. The first and last row show the entire formula.

Start Figure |
End Figure |
Absolute |
Basis Points (BPs) |
Multiple |
Percent |
Percentage Points (PPs) |

$1,000 |
-$500 |
-500 - 1,000 = -1,500 |
NA |
-500 / 1,000 = -0.5x |
(-500 - 1,000) / 1,000 = -150% |
NA |

$1,000 |
$350 |
-650 |
NA |
0.35x |
-65% |
NA |

$1,000 |
$1,200 |
200 |
NA |
1.2x |
20% |
NA |

$1,000 |
$3,500 |
2,500 |
NA |
3.5x |
250% |
NA |

$1,000 |
$27,500 |
27,500 - 1,000 = 26,500 |
NA |
27,500 / 1,000 = 27.5x |
2,650% |
NA |