Interlude: Collecting and Managing Data

Peter L. Moore

This chapter is part of: Moore P. 2018. Quantitative Problem Solving in Natural Resources

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Data is information. Data is the result of somebody’s efforts to record and store information, often to provide an opportunity for insight. It can be used to discover patterns, test hypotheses, and support arguments, among other things. But the numbers themselves often cannot convey much meaning – it is through manipulation and interpretation of the data that those uses can be realized. We therefore need to be conscious about how data are structured and managed, so that they can be manipulated and interpreted to reveal insights. If data are badly structured and managed, the risks can be great. Optimistically, we risk wasting lots of time trying to restructure data to allow the kind of analysis we wish to perform; worse yet, we risk compromising the integrity of or, heaven-forbid, the complete loss of data through poor structuring and mismanagement.
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    Published Published By Pages
    Oct. 5, 2018 Iowa State University Digital Press 4