Whose Data Is It


We all like to read, and that’s a good thing. I know that we quite often read favorite authors, people who agree with our ideas and thoughts. And, we will talk with our friends and other people, using quotes, ideas, or data offered by the people we read.  Just as there is good and bad in everything, we have to be careful of the quotes and data that we use.

Facts, data, and ideas are almost never the whole story. You need to dig a layer or two deeper to find out the real information. Who ran the studies, and who paid for the research. This information is vital.

If someone gives you information in an article about the number of automobile accidents on the rise, it is good to take that second look. And, this is an excellent topic for our talk today. The data for the article could have been neutral data with just the facts from the department of transportation. On the other hand, data may have come from a pro-marijuana lobby blaming cell phone use so that people driving impaired from marijuana did not hurt their business. At the same time, it could be from the cell phone lobby pointing fingers at the distillery industry to deflect people from the idea it was due to not paying attention. The same could be true if the distillery industry were pointing the facts against the marijuana industry.

This is just a hypothetical example of what could happen. I know this sounds a little strange and long-winded. However, it is essential to understand what is real and what is a disguised agenda.

Before getting wound up or going off the deep end over an article showing data, take a second to do some fact checking. Especially if you are doing reports of your own or trying to help others to find or gauge what is of importance for some reason, take a moment. Just check where the data came from, and who sponsored it. It will give you a better grasp of the information and in turn more loyal readership.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again soon.

Author: Mike Balof

A retired Air Force Master Sergeant, Mike used to lay in bed at night and worry about what would happen if his plant closed or found himself without a job. One day his plant closed. Rather than panic and hysteria (OK, maybe a little) Mike found himself carried away on the adventure of his life. Mike started with the best job he ever had working at Home Depot. He spent 8 years working with job seekers at a local workforce center, helping them to find employment. He then started his own company developing courses, writing books and urging others to follow their own paths into the future. Mike holds a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training and a Bachelor of Business Management, earned through the University of Phoenix and an AAS degree in Electronics Systems Technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Mike is a member of the Delta Mu Delta Business Honor Society.

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