Data never sleeps.
By 2020, it’s estimated that for every person on earth, 1.7 MB of data will be created every second.
But just because we have it, doesn’t mean it’s helpful.
Raw data can sometimes be the justification you need for inaction on things that need to change.
In the 1970s cod was so plentiful it served as the cornerstone of the Atlantic economy. Over time, fishing fleets got bigger and utilized better technology, like side scan sonars, GPS and fish finders.
Overfishing became rampant and scientists and fishermen began to notice individual cod were getting smaller and the cod populations were shrinking and disappearing from inshore areas.
Despite the overfishing data pouring in from daily first hand accounts and scientists, fisherman and corporations fought the conservation movement. They denied scientific evidence and pointed to the big catches that temporarily returned (while populations continued to shrink) as proof of the population's overall health.
By the 1990s cod hit their lowest point in recorded history - 12% of the level thought to be necessary to sustain a healthy population.
They had harvested away their own futures.
There’s no point to your data unless it yields strategic insight.
Consider interpreting your data as part of a process, according to your organization's strategic business and marketing plans, instead of as individual data points.
Put yourself in an evidence based position so that when the data makes it clear that you need to make a change, you can make it.
You can choose to look at the evidence or look away.
But don’t be duped.
Everything else is just a fish tale.