Five times when data is not your friend

Danny Stone
9 min readJun 7, 2021

While digital data has become an increasingly important part of our lives (also used to improve organisational systems/decisions), there are times when data is not your friend. Read on to learn about 5 such instances and how to potentially fix them, as well as some general data disadvantages.

Data explained

Simply put, data is information. In the modern-day context, it is usually digital information that is stored online, via cloud computing or in a database. Your Dictionary has a few definitions, which include:

“Data is defined as facts or figures, or information that’s stored in or used by a computer.”

“Facts that can be analysed or used in an effort to gain knowledge or make decisions.”

“Statistics or other information represented in a form suitable for processing by computer.”

Data is becoming increasingly important because of the world wide web, programs and applications that people use. These allow us to capture information (or data) online. They also allow us to process, store and retrieve it in an efficient and often automated manner. Organisations around the world, including governments, are now using this easily accessible information to learn more about people and make conclusions or decisions about them. Whilst there may be certain security concerns around it, this data is generally used to improve processes and make lives easier.

*Application = a computer program that utilises web browsers and web technology to perform tasks over the internet

Bad data explained

As useful as data is, ‘bad data’ can be equally as useless (or even harmful). IT Chronicles defines bad data as;

“any data that is unstructured and suffers from quality issues such as inaccurate, incomplete, inconsistent, and duplicated information.”

These types of errors can lead to painstaking recapturing and/or reprocessing of the information, which is both costly and inefficient. However, in the event that such issues are not even detected…

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Danny Stone
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