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Old 12-10-2012, 04:47 PM   #1
Sandi LeFaucheur
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Cost Benefit?

Okay, techie and project management type people: would a more formal way of saying "bang for your buck" be "provide the best cost benefit"? I should know this, but having a menopausal moment.... Many thanks!
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:21 PM   #2
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"Cost-benefit" analysis is common. What do you want to know about the matter? The term can be used anyway that you like. For some reason the hyphen is usually dropped, even though this is a term that clearly needs a hyphen.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:49 PM   #3
Sandi LeFaucheur
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Basically, I want to say that doing X provides the best cost benefit to Y and Z. (Y is providing the service and Z is receiving the service: in other words, Z gets the best service for the least effort/cost by Y. Does that make sense? If not, I'll put the actual bullet point.)

Thanks!
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:56 PM   #4
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I'm a tad lost as to what you are driving at with your question.

Doing a cost benefit analysis (from the point of view of whoever is hoping to benefit from whatever course or choice of actions they are considering) is intended to show whether there are indeed any benefits, and to aid in the decicion whether it would be best to follow course A or B or C or none - or even whether it is best to follow or to reject a single course of action.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:11 PM   #5
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Getting the bang for your buck is a cost benefit.

If Y is the service and Z is the service recipient, then is X something the service recipient does to get a discount?
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:48 PM   #6
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Actually, 'cost benefit' doesn't generally (in my corporate experience) mean 'bang for your buck'. It's short for 'cost-benefit analysis', which is when you compare the costs of something to its benefits.

For example, if it will cost a factory $5,000 to implement an improved safety feature that will prevent an average of 10 amputated arms per year, the 'cost-benefit analysis' is that for a mere $5,000, the company will prevent 10 employees each year from losing an arm. That would weigh heavily on the 'benefit' side of the equation, as I'm sure everyone would agree.

On the other hand, if a company implements, say, some new mail handling procedures that cost $50,000 but save only $500 per year, the costs outweigh the benefits.

IOW, 'cost' isn't an adjective modifying the noun 'benefit'. Both are equal adjectives modifying 'analysis' (which might be absent as the understood noun).
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:57 PM   #7
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You know, sometimes I need to ask a silly question just to clarify it in my mind. After reading everyone's responses, I realised that all I needed to do was to take out the word "cost", and my sentence made perfect sense. I was trying too hard and being needlessly verbose.

Many thanks for all your help!
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:58 PM   #8
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And these days I am hearing it more often called "risk:benefit".
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
And these days I am hearing it more often called "risk:benefit".
That's not quite synonymous with cost-benefit. "Cost" is usually something more clearly definable in actual dollar terms. As in, I run my own business, and among other things, purchase a computer every couple of years. I know exactly what that will cost, and my decision is made on my estimate of how much that will improve my efficiency, thereby paying back my investment.

In a risk-benefit, the "risk" part isn't firmly defined, but must be estimated as a range of possibilities. What's the worst that can happen in taking on a certain venture? What's the minimum? What are the likelihoods?

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Old 12-10-2012, 11:25 PM   #10
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That's not quite synonymous with cost-benefit.
Which is why the latter was introduced. Because many of the negatives many entities need to consider are not costs. Its all utilitarian analysis by some scope and name, I guess.

Which is, as already mentioned, different from achieving maximum efficiency within a chosen strategy (BforB)
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
Which is why the latter was introduced. Because many of the negatives many entities need to consider are not costs.
Speaking from personal experience, the huge multinational I used to work* for, as far back as the 1980s, made a clear distinction between cost- and risk-evaluation. Some people or industries may be using those terms more interchangeably now, I don't know.

In any case, I recommend either be used with "benefit" in hyphenated form, rather than as two separate words, as they form a compound adjective.

* toil ceaselessly, with great and selfless dedication.

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