Rates are all around us. We use rates to determine our vehicle speed, track our work performance, rank our favorite sports teams, and even keep tabs on our personal cash flow. Once you know what a rate is, and how to recognize rates, you can effectively use rates to compare performance within a system.
The key to all rates is time. Rates are used to track a measurement per given unit of time. As an example, the speed or your car is calculated in miles per hour, or kilometers per hour. This rate is set as a length of distance per unit of time. Other speed rates may be feet per second, feet per minute, kilometers per minute, meters per second, etc. It really depends on what speed rate would best describe the performance. After all, it would be much more complex if we measured the speed rates of vehicles in feet per hour.
In the investment world a key phase is “rate of return” or “return on investment (ROI)”. This rate is used to compare how quickly you either gain money, or lose money on an investment.
Right now I’m in a hotel. If you pass by many hotels or motels as you travel, you might notice that they advertise rates. The rate is how much it costs to stay at the hotel and is usually an amount of money per night, or per week.
There are other rates than just measuring distance per time unit (speed) and money per time unit. Other rates can be volumes per time unit (flow), beats per second (heart rate), frames per second (photography/videography), weight per time unit, etc. As stated before, rates are basically any measurement relative to a unit of time.
So the next time you are in the car, watching sports, reading the newspaper, or watching TV, see how many different rates and rating systems you can identify.
For more on rates and other online calculators, try some of the links below.