Distorted Perceptions (of Fact)

By DataAnalytics

Data and Information in the last decade has become so
prevalent and available to almost anyone with an internet
connection, that it might lead one to believe we have become
a fact-based culture. Indeed, just the opposite has been occurring.

Which is not to say there are not good, reliable sources of  data
and information available. But the ability to parse out the noise,
irrelevancy and falsities are becoming more and more difficult as
the content of electronic text and information rapidly expands.

Consequently, Data and Information does not necessarily correlate
into Fact and Knowledge. This trend has become widely evident
over the last 4 plus years of the financial and economic crisis.

Daily, weekly, monthly and yearly reports published by financiers,
banks and government agencies; such as the BLS (labor data),
Census (CP Surveys) and FHA/GSE entities (housing/mortgage data)
have been proven to be doctored and overall manipulated data-sets
that have been and currently are being passed off as so-called fact
and subsequently, knowledge.

Data Information Knowledge

What is knowledge? Knowledge is the direct relationship of thorough
investigation, in-depth study and thoughtful analysis. In essence,
it is the ‘science’ of information- indeed, it is not an idea or perception,
but rather Fact, which is the foundation of all knowledge.

What knowledge is not though, is a perception of facts. Sadly
though, that (perception) is what most of the main stream financial
and economic news, findings and figures have become. A perception,
or rather a Distorted Perception.

Among the many benefits of knowledge, is knowledge that leads
to improved and more efficient decision making. Applicable content
and data which can be filtered down to being relevant and practical
information,is one of the keys to obtaining fact-based knowledge.

But in recent years more-so than ever, authority, to a certain
extent, has taken information and data and turned into a ‘concept’
of a perceived fact rather than absolute fact, to suit their
particular needs; economically, politically and financially.

Which of course, then places ‘Fact’ under scrutiny. In addition to
these entities of authority, are ‘Social’ media and business platforms,
where there are significant gaps in credible data. As well as in the
delivery of credible content and data, which is typically unstructured,
unverified, and often results in unreliable content and information.

The verification of data and then, how data gets expressed is mission
critical to the competence of any informative data-set and ultimately
the Foundation of Fact-Based Knowledge.

So while the flow of data, information and knowledge cannot, nor
should not be limited, there needs to be more of an emphasis placed
upon the reliability and verification of data, information with relation
to the knowledge attained from absolute Fact. Credibility and reliability
are indeed the core pillars to achieving a true fact-based culture.

3 responses to “Distorted Perceptions (of Fact)

  1. Computers and the Internet have made me a much better writer. I’m a fact-based opinionist. I’m better because there are vast amounts of data available out there at my finger tips on just about any topic. I only have to know where to look for it. That is what bookmarks are for. 😉

    With spreadsheets and other analytical and reporting tools on my computers, I’m able to synthesis that data into meaningful, coherent output.

    What these technical tools cannot do is replace the human brain or replace the ability to reason. We still have to know how to think for ourselves.

    If you don’t know how to accurately determine the reliability of questionable data sources through independent verification, then don’t draw any crucial conclusions from that data.

    • Agreed, technology has enabled many to be come better at writing and researching. But at the same time has opened up a world full of half-truths, lies and deception passed off as truth and fact.

      While I appreciate fact-based opinions, I was referring more to supposed fact-based studies/reports, etc.

      Yes, the ability to verify data through independent sources is key, while not always possible, many unlike you and I, do not bother to verify and instead choose to rely on mostly biased entities whether it right or left leaning in their views.

      It’s a never-ending battle we must wage against those who distort facts. Keep up the good practices.

  2. Pingback: Facts not Perception are the Foundation of Knowledge « InfoMetrics

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