I heard a marketer say recently, “Publishing numbers in a powerpoint deck does not make them true.”
We have never had greater access to data to make decisions. But it has also never been easier to cherry pick data to support whatever point we’re trying to make.
Being data-driven in our decision making increasingly means being data-skeptical.
Whether intentional or not, bias in how we work with data can skew results. There can be bias in the data we select and bias in how we interpret the data. And biased data can lead to poor decisions. This is particularly true when pitching an idea, where you’re motivated to convince an audience.
The rise in data-driven marketing is turning us all into DIY amateur data scientists. Many marketers weren’t trained in statistics and are trying to learn data science on the fly. We have to learn to recognize some of the more common biases in working with data and not take results at face value.
We have to become better skilled at pushing back on the numbers.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed cartoon print. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)
Here are a couple other cartoons I’ve drawn on biases in working with data: