Monday, November 17, 2008


There are lots of people who are smart, people who can figure things out, people who really "get it" when you talk to them about something. Sometimes these smart people are wrong. Worse, right or wrong, smart people are not always the people able to make the big decisions. And sometimes smart people, right or wrong, aren't able to convince decision-makers (who may also be smart, but not always) to listen to them.

Data is a powerful sword for smart people. I could write about how data can be twisted, manipulated, etc...but let's keep this short and focused and assume that data is valid and smart people have good intentions.

Data can help a smart person who is wrong recognize it. Data can help smart people who are right prove it.

And data can sometimes make a person smart.

Be on the lookout for data, both that supports your viewpoint and that conflicts with it. Once you have an opinion that the data supports, use that data to convince others.

There's nothing more convincing than a smart person who's got great data to back her (or him) up.

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