The 11 Best Data Quotes
Ever since before starting DataMarket back in 2008, I’ve been collecting funny, insightful and thought-provoking quotes about data and information. Here is my current list of top 11 favorites:
11. Many have tried to describe the importance of data in industrial, or even agricultural terms
Data are becoming the new raw material of business
- Craig Mundie, head of research and strategy, Microsoft
Data is the new oil!
- Clive Humby, ANA Senior marketer’s summit, 2006
Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine,”
- Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president at Gartner
Data is the new oil? No: Data is the new soil.
- David McCandless, TEDGlobal, 2010
10. …others in terms of previous breakthroughs in IT
Data is the Next Intel Inside
- Tim O’Reilly, What Is Web 2.0
9. The love of data visualization is not new
There is a magic in graphs. The proﬁle of a curve reveals in a ﬂash a whole situation — the life history of an epidemic, a panic, or an era of prosperity. The curve informs the mind, awakens the imagination, convinces.
- Henry D. Hubbard, 1939
8. First we have data…
It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.
- Sherlock Holmes, A Study in Scarlett (Arthur Conan Doyle)
7. …the rest is built on top
You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.
6. He may not have always played by the book, but he knew what was needed to get the job done
The most valuable commodity I know of is information.
- Gordon Gekko, Wall Street (1987)
5. A reminder to be careful in your analysis and don’t stretch to get the results you’d like
Torture the data, and it will confess to anything
- Ronald Coase, Economics, Nobel Prize Laureate
4. People take good care of data that is important to them
Data that is loved tends to survive
- Kurt Bollacker, Data Scientist, Freebase/Infochimps
3. …and – as most good things – it just improves with age
Data matures like wine, applications like fish
2. What use are statistics any way?
In times like these when unemployment rates are up to 13%, income has fallen by 5% and suicide rates are climbing I get so angry that the government is wasting money on things like collection of statistics!
- From Hans Rosling’s The Joy of Stats
1. Finally, my very favorite data quote (and principle in life)
If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.
- Jim Barksdale, former Netscape CEO
Additional submissions welcomed in comments below. What are your favorite data quotes?