I’m reading John Grisham’s “The Broker”. It’s good fun – a bit of escapism.
In one scene he describes how the jailed main character – Joel Bachman – tried to while away some of the endless hours of incarceration through conducting a survey of how many hours sleep his fellow prisoners were getting per day.
Of the 37 respondents on his block the average was eleven hours – though Joel had to discount the answer from one person whom Joel had deemed insane.
Now of course this is all fictional. But Joel recognised something very important. Bad data can render a result to be not just flawed but useless.
Now in a way Joel was lucky. He had no strong vested interest in the results of his survey. He wasn’t hoping, for example, that the data would reveal high customer satisfaction levels that he could then use for PR purposes.
But either which way – he was still right to remove the bad data! When you’re making data-driven decisions make sure that data’s good! Otherwise…
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