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January 8, 2009

10 anecdotes does not data make

I have always had a real problem with unsubstantiated claims. You know the ones. The stories that were once based on a kernel of a fact that get passed on from person to person.

They grow with each retelling and soon become twisted out of all proportion. Representing whatever it is that the story teller wants us to buy into at that point in time.

I have no problems with story telling, but it must (MUST) be supported with facts. Facts that can be demonstrated, quoted, shown and referred to with full confidence.

Writing a paper without quoting references doesn't make you look good. it looks like plagery.

Sending in a report without references and additional facts makes it your opinion. Tying into recognized leading practices throughout your industry, and quoting other reference-able sources makes it closer to a fact.

When your conclusions, analyses and reports are based on facts a funny thing happens. The entire dynamic changes.

Instead of well argued opinions, you are now putting forward irrefutable facts - hard things to ignore when it comes to decision making.