“The Princess Bride” is a cult classic with many quotable lines…including Vizzini’s frequent and incorrect exclamation “Inconceivable!” Eventually, Inigo counters “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Often we are faces with websites and applications that present us with ‘data’…that is little more than bits & bytes, characters & numbers. If the data presented is not accurate, relevant or timely, it is not useful for decision making. At best, it is a bit frustrating…at worst it leads to mistakes.

“I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  • “In Stock”

A major hardware/home improvement store offers a filter for ‘In Stock Items Only’ when you have selected a local store. However, not all items returned with that filtered query are actually physically present in the store!

  • “Sunday Evening”

In searching for a date idea for a Sunday evening, a local newspaper entertainment calendar returned a nice long list of possible event for this Sunday after 6pm. Click after click was wasted as every event listed had performances only during the day…nothing after 4pm. And even a few events that had already completed their run or had yet to start.

  • “Unsubscribe”

After clicking on an email unsubscribe link, I was taken to a page that acknowledged my unsubscribe action with the words “Thank you. You will be hearing from us soon.” No…unsubscribe means I don’t want to hear from you.

If your data lacks presentation integrity, it’s not data. It’s garbage.

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