John Tukey (1915-2000) was an American mathematician and has been called the father of modern exploratory data analysis and data visualization. Tukey has written a lot on these subject, so I thought I’d share three of my favorite and also more popular quotes:
The data may not contain the answer. The combination of some data and an aching desire for an answer does not ensure that a reasonable answer can be extracted from a given body of data.
To statisticians, hubris should mean the kind of pride that fosters an inflated idea of one’s powers and thereby keeps one from being more than marginally helpful to others. … The feeling of “Give me (or more likely even, give my assistant) the data, and I will tell you what the real answer is!” is one we must all fight against again and again, and yet again.
Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise.
So, if you like these quotes and are looking for a great data science read, then check out Tukey’s text, Exploratory Data Analysis.