I read a very interesting (and lengthy) article yesterday from Reuter’s (you can find the whole thing here) in which the author goes into some detail about people in the government that are self-described “data dogs”. I find it an interesting study in general, since I also value data as well – but the article finally seems to land on a topic that I thought had been put to bed.
Several of the folks in the article seem to be under the belief that if we just had a little more data, we’d be able to predict the future with it, at least on an economic front. I don’t agree. Sure, more data is usually a good thing – but there is a limit. It’s different for each situation, but sometimes more data isn’t any better than a little data, especially when you can’t process it all anyway.
My science background teaches me that there is no such thing as “perfect” information about any system – it’s a myth. So I was surprised at finding very intelligent people chasing after “perfect” data – I just don’t think we’ll ever have. On the other hand, I could be reading too much into their statements. Perhaps they are just looking for that “good enough” level of data.
What do you think?