A2 Radio: Don't Let Your Data Lie

John H. Johnson

John H. Johnson

Does data provide insights, or does it add to the confusion? As the whole world grapples with the concept of "fake news," it is time to also take a look at the way we and the rest of society look at our data. This is the same data that inspires a dating website survey to write a headline that says grilled cheese lovers have more sex and are better people than the rest of the population.

Much of data today is misinterpreted or misrepresented, and that's the topic of a book by statistician John H. Johnson, Everydata: The Misinformation Hidden in the Little Data You Consume Every Day. Johnson will join us as our guest on AllAnalytics radio on July 11, 2017 at 2 pm ET/11am PT. Join us and bring your questions. You can register here right now.

Johnson, who holds a Ph.D. in economics from MIT, used his book to look at some of the common ways data is misrepresented or misinterpreted today, and how we can lead the charge as experts in data and analysis to help business users and others in the enterprise correctly interpret data.

Why is data so often misinterpreted and misrepresented? Johnson's book lays out some of the common ways data can get mishandled or misinterpreted to yield misleading results. He looks at averages and aggregates, how sampling can affect results, correlation versus causation, outliers, and the struggle to create predictions.

Have you ever run into these kinds of problems in your organization? Do you ever struggle to help business users understand these concepts? Join us as Johnson takes us through the struggle and offers advice.

[This post has been updated to reflect a change in date of the event.]

Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps, Informationweek

Jessica Davis has spent a career covering the intersection of business and technology at titles including IDG's Infoworld, Ziff Davis Enterprise's eWeek and Channel Insider, and Penton Technology's MSPmentor. She's passionate about the practical use of business intelligence, predictive analytics, and big data for smarter business and a better world. In her spare time she enjoys playing Minecraft and other video games with her sons. She's also a student and performer of improvisational comedy. Follow her on Twitter: @jessicadavis.

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Re: Data
  • 6/5/2017 10:12:20 AM

I've had the thought often that not only do we need writers, data scientists and management involved in sharing information, but also social scientists and psychologists to explain how our brains work and not alway behave in rational ways. Not only do we often put out information in ways that's not understandable to the public, but the public has it's own "mysterious" ways of interpreting what they read and hear. Socicl scientists might be able to mediate that problem.

Re: Data
  • 5/31/2017 1:48:30 PM

Very important subject. Should be intuitive. Understanding the pitfalls is very important. Look forward to it.

Re: Data
  • 5/31/2017 11:05:51 AM

I am really disturbed by this inability to make simple conclusions based on data, this is very dangerous to Freedom and Peace. 

I think we are seeing this very clearly at this very moment.

Re: The Data Says What ?
  • 5/31/2017 11:03:17 AM

@Joe   Thanks for clearing that up,   I had not seen your post before I posted mine.  :/

Re: Data
  • 5/31/2017 11:01:30 AM

"....and 99% of statistics are made up"


@Michelle    Reminds me of the quote, "There are lies and damn lies ..."


Can't recall who said that first though.

The Data Says What ?
  • 5/31/2017 10:58:49 AM

This might be the most important A2 show yet !   And that is saying something.  This issue of misinterpreted or misrepresented data reaches far beyond the private sector and I really hope to be at this show.

Re: Data
  • 5/30/2017 10:42:11 PM

and 99% of statistics are made up


I'm looking forward to the show. I hope I can make it to the live broadcast!

  • 5/30/2017 4:47:10 PM

Data doesn't lie so much as the analyses thereof -- and conclusions therefrom -- do.

As Twain put it, "There are lies, there are damned lies, and then there are statistics."

Looking forward to this.