When Is it Okay to Ignore the Data?

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Episode Summary

Data is there to answer a question. But human intuition needs to play a role as well. Combining the two is the goal.

There is no easy button for determining how to use your data. We like to think that data is this perfect, impartial mediator for human emotions and bad decisions. But really, the data is just a full of biases as your intuition and “gut’ is.

An analysts job is to understand what types of biases could potentially impact the output of your analysis, dashboard or model, and then ensure that the data users know the pros and cons of your dataset.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a data visualization must be worth far more than that - Dave Mathias

In this episode of Data Able, we’ll talk about looking at your datasets, making judgement calls about that data, and questions to ask of your data’s origin/source. We’ll also cover some real-life examples from our own pasts where data we used were suspect and how we handled them.

Most importantly, we’ll talk about some strategies for managing through the inherent bias in your organization’s data, and how the “manage” your end-users through that process. Getting executive buy-in and ensuring everyone is comfortable with the pros/cons of the dataset BEFORE you deliver the analysis is the key!

Links and References

Understanding Data Governance - CIO.com

Understanding the Types of Data and How They’re Captured - HBR.org

The Data Able Podcast is made possible by Beyond the Data

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