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Stephanie, thanks for taking the data discussion to the next level. I agree, data is useful not in itself, but for analysis and decision making.

"Running the numbers" may sound like a mechanical step, but ah the light it sheds on decision making -- especially in places where all you could see was murkiness before.

Great analogy Stephanie. This is a "keeper"

An insightful article especially for HR Analysts who receive requests for this report or the other everyday...another important aspect of data is its accuracy-the garbage in, garbage out theory holds very much true in any data analysis.

Stephanie, the article is indeed interesting and I love the metaphor. I would like to pick it up in the last paragraph, when you say “ We have to transform that raw material into information etc… “. In my career, sometimes, I have seen that the raw material (the data) is worked so much that it becomes something completely different and not recognizable anymore. What's worst is that the raw material is taken and transformed into something specific according to the requests of someone. An example out of this metaphor is remuneration consulting. Remuneration data is elaborated and aggregated in many ways that you can make out of it many different “conclusions” and each of these conclusions could lead to a very different remuneration decision . One must be careful that the “cleaning, cutting and polishing” is not excessive ! In my compensation experience I suggest to see the raw stone AND the diamond. Ciao !

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