Data is the Enemy of Bluster

“If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.”*
–Jim Barksdale, former CEO of Netscape.

The Data vs Data article that I posted yesterday (this one) has gotten me thinking about the difference between asking people what the plan to do and predicting what you think they’ll do. Surveys are interesting measuring tools for human perception, and they have a long history. They are also prone to sampling bias, non-response bias, and plain old lying (to oneself or otherwise).

All of this makes me curious, and I just happen to have a new Survey Monkey account, access to a software product with some nifty Categorical/survey analysis features, and some extra time on my hands.

So, over the next few months, I’ll be posting some surveys of my own devising. Anyone is welcome to participate in the survey and/or comment on the resulting analysis. Anyone is welcome to suggest topics.

Here’s survey number 1: Online Video Viewing Habits.

This survey was inspired by a whole lot of bluster around “video as content marketing”. I have my doubts. What say you, oh internet?

*Quote originally found through Phil Simon.

About Melinda Thielbar

Melinda Thielbar is a co-founder of Research Triangle Analysts, Ph.D. statistician, spinner of fine yarn, martial artist, fraud analyst, and fiction writer. In other words, she's a polymath. Follow Melinda on Twitter @mthielbar, or join the Research Triangle Analysts group on G+ to join the conversation about data science.
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One Response to Data is the Enemy of Bluster

  1. Phil Simon says:

    I hope at one point to say something as profound! Thanks for the props.

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