No matter if you pronounce it with a long or short vowel sound, the word data provokes ideas of bits and bytes, algorithms, and the esoteric SQL programming terminology used by data scientists around the world. But contrary to popular belief, data doesn’t have to be scary. Here are 16 quotes about data to inspire you in your ongoing quest for perfect data.

  1. “Poor data quality is enemy number one to the widespread, profitable use of machine learning.” –Thomas C. Redman, Author and Statistician
  2. “Data, like oil, is a source of power. And those who control it are establishing themselves as masters of the universe, just as oil barons did 100 years ago.” –Bernard Marr, Technology Expert
  3. “By definition, all scientists are data scientists. In my opinion, they are half hacker, half analyst, they use data to build products and find insights. It’s Columbus meet Columbo – starry eyed explorers and skeptical detectives.” –Monica Rogati, Data Scientist and AI Advisor
  4. “At the end of the day, you can have all of the technology in the world, but if you don’t know how to use it, you’re not going to get very far.” –Max Altschuler, Sales Hacker
  5. “Data is a tool for enhancing intuition.” –Hilary Mason, Data Scientist
  6. “Embracing the data and being empowered by the data is what I think our better choice is, rather than romanticizing the view of how good it was when we could control our data.” –Andreas Weigend, Author and Data Scientist
  7. “Data science today should be focused less on ‘building the model’ and more on ‘finding the model in the data.’ In the big data era, the data becomes the model.” –Kirk Borne, Data Scientist
  8. “When human judgment and big data intersect there are some funny things that happen.” –Nate Silver, Statistician
  9. “We’re entering a new world in which data may be more important than software.” –Tim O’Reilly, Technologist and Author
  10. “It is hard to imagine any sort of future in data when so much is so bad. Thus, improving data quality is a gift that keeps giving — it enables you to take out costs permanently and to more easily pursue other data strategies. For all but a few, there is no better opportunity in data.” –Thomas C. Redman, Author and Statistician
  11. “Data is a precious thing and will last longer than the systems themselves.” –Tim Berners-Lee, Internet Pioneer
  12. “Data – in the quantities it is available today – is, in fact, an entirely new commodity, and the rules around how it is stored, treated and used are still being written” –Bernard Marr, Technology Expert
  13. “Those who rule data will rule the entire world.” –Masayoshi Son, Tech CEO
  14. “Data is the fabric of the modern world: just like we walk down pavements, so we trace routes through data, and build knowledge and products out of it.” –Ben Goldacre, Physician and Data Enthusiast
  15. “Big Data is just that – big. But, it’s a term that is largely misunderstood and difficult to explain.” –Rick Smolan, Photographer and Storyteller
  16. “If you’re a scientist, and you have to have an answer, even in the absence of data, you’re not going to be a good scientist.” –Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist and Author

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