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Moving Out Beyond Levels of Data

I have been trying to review some of my disparate ideas, mulling them over in order to reach some kind of synthesis.

Again since most of these ideas seem to be kind of controversial, even just mentioning one of them very likely would trip up the argument severely, simply because most of my audience — basically “normal” people — are not ready to have their entire world outlook changed so drastically. Just consider the definitions post I posted a few weeks ago (Chapter 20, “Language & Community — Some More or Less Clearly Defined Definitions“) as a recent example.

This morning I have come up with an idea which has been more or less “back burner” thinking for several years already. The general topic might (in some circles) be referred to as “data literacy”, yet that term is quite commonly used and does not really focus on issues related to the scientific method, measurement and similar research methods (such as data collection) used in science … which have been traditionally been referred to as “levels of data” (but which been neglected over the past few decades since someone seems to have convinced most of the world that the quality of data is no longer important, maybe saying something like “the sheer quantity of data alleviates the need to pay attention to its quality” [or lack thereof] ).

Quite to the contrary: I think we need to pay even more attention to data than the traditional four levels of measurement approach (which refers to “nominal”, “ordinal”, “interval” and “ratio” scales of data).

I’m so broke I can’t even pay attention

Much in the same way that I remarked that marketplaces differ with respect to “How we do things here” (see Chapter 21, “Social Business Regulation: Introduction & Socio BIZ Rule #1“), we also need to pay more attention to the quality of the data we use. If the data are bogus, then the conclusions we reach from the data are also bogus (decades ago, this was referred to as the “GIGO” problem — “garbage in, garbage out”).

I think I will think some more about this before I introduce any “quick fixes” — perhaps I’m taking some inspiration from Josepha’s answer to my own question. 😉