Monday, October 28, 2013

Ignoring the evidence

I've been around data for a few years, we've seen each other at the bar every once in a while and a few times data took me home. Thats the kind of relationship I have with data; it takes me home and kicks me out in the morning. I think we all kind of have this problem with data; its there when it wants to be there and not there when you need it most. I've run into this problem, and I've kind of thought it as ignoring the evidence; data wont always be there to wish us a good night sleep, or to tell us when the next train is coming, or to help us get promote; data is either large or absent, very few times is it in between.



We often get so jaded by data that when it finally shows its pretty/handsome face well take what ever it is selling. Hell, data could sell us Keystone light and we would probably drink it. Then data leaves the next morning and we feel the need to not trust it anymore. The thing is, data is data, it does what it wants. Its up to us (as humans [or robots who read the blog]) to gauge what to make of data. The thing is, we can't marry data, we can only hope that it will give the information we need to marry an actual idea. Data is bipartisan, its gender neutral its all the things we want from data and nothing more. Data wont tell you whether to buy coke or pepsi, it will tell you which is cheaper, which in a survey of 100 people did better or which one sells better. Data can't create the art that is the human mind, it can only direct us in the proper direction. Think about creating a song purely on data; it would suck, like truly suck. I'm not saying take bits and pieces of actual music that was voted awesome and mash it together, I'm talking for every 100 men in a troop brigade play the G note, for every 100 women play the E cord and so on. The music would not sound good.


The thing to remember about data is that its not the decision maker, its the guidance to do so. Data tells us what we should do, not what we are going to do; "they  are probabilities not actuals". I emphasize this because you can't ignore data, its just the wrong thing to do. You should at the very least, take the data with a grain of salt and know what to expect what is coming next. Turning a blind eye to data is simply just a bad idea. Imagine if you knew you were allergic to peanuts, and just ate a handful of peanuts. In this case, the Data is your allergy to peanuts , and the decision was to actually eat peanuts. I'm sure most people were like "Oh that is pretty dumb"; but the truth is we still do it anyway. We ignore the obvious and pursue our blind agendas hoping the best will work. If you want to see what life without data would look like, blindfold yourself, plug your ears and see if you can get out of your house/apartment; that is what it is like to ignore the evidence.

1 comment:

Dave Wiesman said...

Founded in 1803, Elberton is known as the "Granite Capital of the World."