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Data Analysis: The difference between Information and MISinformation.

Misinformation can be based in accurate data. Don’t believe me?

Consider this: 7/10 victims of a crime are attacked by someone they know.

If you go by facts alone, it is a great idea to get into a car driven by a complete stranger because statistically, you are safer with a stranger than with someone you know.

But is this good advice? Should we now tell our kids to accept sweets from people as long as they are strangers?

What’s wrong with this information?

In short: A complete lack of analysis.

Here’s what information that’s been analyzed would tell us:

  1. Most crimes are motivated by opportunity. The people we know might have maximum access to us and therefore have more opportunity, but when we interact with a stranger, we are creating an opportunity.

  2. Most criminals want to get away with their crime, a stranger is more likely to be able to do this successfully and therefore is more likely to act on opportunity.

  3. Situational data, like: where you are (is the street lonely? Dimly lit?), whether you’re in a group or alone, how valuable your belongings are etc, can all add to motive and opportunity

Now that we have more data, does the initial recommendation (of trusting a stranger) still ring true? Or would you consider it dangerous misinformation? Even though it is based in undeniable fact?

THIS is the power of well-analyzed data.

It can help you understand the meaning behind fact and help people/businesses make sound decisions.

Not every situation is likely to be this dramatic, but it’s good to keep in mind, that our job isn’t just making data look good… Our job is to elevate fact and help data speak its truth.

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