Daily Post 1326
FACTS AND FIGURES
When facts are not supported by figures, then over a period the fact’s status becomes vague and finally lost out of individual, enterprise and societal memory. Those are the figures what we call data today. As the common adage goes what is not measured is not done. The validity of this truism changes with context, conscience and professional expertise, these three great traits cannot match the worthiness of the figures based on real facts. At the best it can be near second when everything goes in its favour. It is ironical that in the Information Age, the figures have become the most suspect. The battle is to come up with some figures supporting your claims and you are ready to go. The earlier practice of some basic figures, which were beyond any debate, has now left the figure, data, measurement landscape.
President of the US says that the figures of the COVID-19 cases might be inflated, UK missed out of the figures of fatalities outside of hospitals, even John Hopkins relies on data from the public domain is to give an indication of the discrepancy creeping in. If you get into the nitty gritty of data collection and expanse to be covered, more often than not, the gaps are too glaring. The most disturbing issue is the callousness with which these are figures dealt and worst still when the figures are customised to suit some purpose or the other. Worse, lots of most blatant human tragedies have no hard figures associated to that. In the social media and multimedia age, we can keep remembering them through the visuals.
Camouflaging facts is most favourite pastime of our times. We have instances from the time of the Iraq War to date. The figures and sometimes even the facts come out as matter of aberration, mostly the whistleblower way, the normative is very different, though we don’t discuss it. Till today we don’t even know the data life cycle in IT behemoths. The facts of lots of historical incidents remain shrouded in doubt and confusion when there is no way to get the issue validated by figures. It is only nitty gritty of figures by which one safe and verifiable conclusion can be reached. The crux of the matter is that figures are used either to create facts or give a favourable version of it.
The synchronisation of facts and figures which we thought would happen in the Information Age, seems to have been bypassed. The sensors based data creation real time and dynamic does not happen in the human processes of life; human development, sustainable development, economic growth, national security, law and order depiction and innumerable other areas. The vested interests are too entrenched to give way for the empirical, objective and a measurable world. But the battle has to go on. Life based on verifiable figures and complete connect with the facts is the final destination in the interest of mankind. Only that can ensure our rights and real verifiable progress.
DYNAMIC CREATION OF DATA AND IT’s PUBLIC DISSEMINATION CAN BRING ABOUT THIS CHANGE.