Every once in awhile I hear a story about someone misusing data and it makes me want to turn into the Hulk.
Manipulating data to advance a political gain happens all the time.
Fox News is a master at it. Most politicians bend and twist data like a pretzel just so it will make them look good and their opponents look bad.
I always think of Mark Twain’s famous quote, “there are lies, damn lies and statistics”.
In today’s age is expected form politicians now. When its election time we know most of what we hear is not the whole story and we just accept it.
This also happens a lot outside of politics. It happens in big business. When business people manipulate data to mislead people. Marketing and Sales people are constantly tempted and often even incentiveized to twist the truth too.
But what makes me the maddest. What drives me to Hulk levels of rage. Is when someone does it just because they dont want to face the truth. When they get data, run some analysis, see results, dont like the results they see and then they change the data.
To an analyst like me, thats just flat out unacceptable. Analysts have to be the guardians of truth, using data as their shield and their convictions as their sword.
We know marketers lie. We know politicians tell damn lies. But when people we know and work with manipulate statistics to further short sighted and selfish goals, we have to draw a line.
So keep hope alive and stand up and say, no. Dont use my data and my analysis to build a web of lies. If you do, you are going to have to deal with the Hulk!