I like reading Tom Goodwin. He makes me smiles. He sparks good discussions. I agree with a lot of what he says. I particularly liked this post. I'm reposting it here in its entirety because it's really good and there not much I'd add to it.
I'm not sure why we value data so much.
1) Today you can find data ( or frame data) to support any argument you wish to make.
2) Vast amounts of data we capture today has such flawed methodology it's worse than useless. It's not unhelpful, it's dangerously misleading.
3) Both of these issues become even greater over time as we have more data, have less data literate people, and we've a culture that doesn't value critical analysis. We really need to shift our focus to empathy and imagination, not what data says.
Data showed that Red Bull would flop, that people don't want smartphones, that 3D TV's would be the next big thing, that people won't pay for content and that Hillary would win.
We've become blinded by it on the false believe it's ambivalent, that it's objective, when it merely reflects the chaotic nature of the world and the objectives of those who recorded and spread it. Even finding data to support an opinion is most often a matter of how much dedication you have, not what's real.
Source: Tom Goodwin, Linked In
It makes me laugh because I am ambivalent about data. When I put my M. Sc. Marketing hat on, I use a lot of it. When I put my entrepreneur/creative hat on, not so much. I think it's good to switch your brain between these two modes.
Digesting a lot of data (reading, experiencing, observing, not just stats) is great to feed your gut feeling and help you frame problems. But sometimes, you have to take a leap of faith and decide you'll go for something, even if you don't have all the data supporting you.
Remember: hundreds of years ago people crossed the Atlantic Ocean with wooden boats. They didn't have a lot of data to guide their decisions. They read, experienced, observed. And they were able to do great things.
There's no point in running linear regressions to know what you Cupcakes brand will post today on social media. Let it go.