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Compelling Quotes About Data

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Mark Twain looks out a window while holding a smoking pipe

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Data drives most of what we do today — we gather information about a certain topic, then make a decision based on that information. From buying a new car to choosing a dentist, we’ve got access to an abundance of data to help guide us through our daily lives.

But what’s most critical about the data we collect is that it’s accurate. Basing action on misinformation can be just as bad, if not worse, than basing it on nothing at all.

Don’t take our word for it. Check out some quotes about data from leaders in business, literature and technology to get you inspired.

6sense’s Favorite Quotes About Data

“Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.”

—Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web

“Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.”

—Peter Sondergaard, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Research at Gartner, Inc.

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

—Sherlock Holmes in A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

“The ability to take data – to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it – is going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades.”

—Hal Varian, Chief Economist at Google

“Data is like garbage. You’d better know what you are going to do with it before you collect it.”

—Mark Twain, writer and humorist

“You can have all of the fancy tools, but if [your] data quality is not good, you’re nowhere.”

—Veda Bawo, Data Governance Advisory at JLL Technologies

“In a world of more data, the companies with more data-literate people are the ones that are going to win.”

—Miro Kazakoff, Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan

“Time and money are your scarcest resources. You want to make sure you’re allocating them in the highest-impact areas. Data reveals impact, and with data, you can bring more science to your decisions.”

—Matt Trifiro, CMO at Vapor IO

“Of course hard numbers tell an important story; user stats and sales numbers will always be key metrics. But every day, your users are sharing a huge amount of qualitative data, too — and a lot of companies either don’t know how or forget to act on it.”

—Stewart Butterfield, CEO and Founder of Slack

“Most of the world will make decisions by either guessing or using their gut. They will be either lucky or wrong.”

—Suhail Doshi, CEO and Founder of Mixpanel, Inc. and Founder of Mighty

“The goal is to turn data into information and information into insight.”

— Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett Packard

“In the spirit of science, there really is no such thing as a ‘failed experiment.’ Any test that yields valid data is a valid test.”

— Adam Savage, Creator of MythBusters

“Big data will spell the death of customer segmentation and force the marketer to understand each customer as an individual within 18 months or risk being left in the dust.”

— Virginia (Ginni) Rometty, Former Chairman and CEO of IBM

Dan Hieb

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