Friday, November 5, 2010


There's a bit of a hubbub in the ad industry because the vaunted Nielsen organization has undercounted time spent online by 22%. They blame this error on a "computer glitch."

I think the real errors from data come not from computer glitches but from MBA itches.

These days, we test everything. Data proliferates like rabbits mainlining Viagra. We issue decks, reports, studies and white-papers. We reach conclusions. We proclaim proclamations.

In so doing, we mostly prove whatever we want proved. We've got reams of data to back it up.

The fact of the matter is 99% of statistics lie and 99% of all data exists solely to create jobs for people to create, analyze and act upon that data.

As it says in "Proverbs,"
"Wisdom is the principal thing;/therefore get wisdom:/and with all thy getting get understanding."

I'm not for a moment saying data is useless.
But it is useless when it becomes a) an end in itself or b) an excuse to do nothing.

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