Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics and Big Data… DTA!

stone_cold_steve_austin11One of the many problems with “research, statistics and big data” is the concept that whoever has the information has the knowledge and therefore has all the power. Unfortunately most people have no experience, no training and no idea how to gather, analyze and/or use that information.

As a result – in the words of Stone Cold Steve Austin – people with data simply Arrive. Raise Hell. and Leave.

Meanwhile, you’ve paid for all the data and you assume you can now simply use it. But do you know if it is right? Was it collected properly? Was it interpreted accurately?  Was it analyzed thoroughly? All data – big and little – is a lot like old dynamite; if handled properly it can help you blow holes in the side of a mountain… if handled improperly it can blow up in your face.

And let’s be honest, more often than not, the people who are most indignant about using research and statistics and data to validate work, are the ones who never actually use it. In their eyes, data is only useful when it supports their opinions.

Until people get smarter and data collection and processing get better, I’m going to adhere to another piece of advice from Stone Cold Steve Austin: Don’t Trust Anybody!

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.