One way of seeing

“…I like data because it is neutral – there are no value judgements, only facts. That allows people to discuss the issues raised by data less emotionally than they might an anecdotal experience.

Lindsey Collins, one of our producers at Pixar, says that data can be nothing less than soothing. “It was such a relief for me, when I began in this job, to be able to look at historical data and see the patterns,” she says. “It took what felt like a very nebulous process and allowed me to break it down and start to put a loose structure on it.”…

There are limits to data, however, and some people rely on it too heavily. Analysing it correctly is difficult, and it is dangerous to assume that you always know what it means. It is very easy to find false patterns in data. Instead, I prefer to think of data as one way of seeing, one of many tools we can use to look for what’s hidden…”

Ed Catmull: in Chapter 10 of Creativity, Inc. (2014)

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