This is a fantastic TEDTalk by Susan Etlinger about the ways that data, specifically big data, is gathered, and what we should learn from and do with it. A few select quotes that really bring home the point that just knowing the data isn't enough, we have to learn how to learn form it: - We have to ask questions, and hard questions, to move past counting things to understanding them. - This is what happens when assessments and analytics overvalue one metric — in this case, verbal communication — and undervalue others, such as creative problem-solving - And at this point, you might be thinking, "Okay, Susan, we get it, you can take data, you can make it mean anything." And this is true, it's absolutely true, but the challenge is that we have this opportunity to try to make meaning out of it ourselves, because frankly, data doesn't create meaning. We do. So as businesspeople, as consumers, as patients, as citizens, we have a responsibility, I think, to spend more time focusing on our critical thinking skills. Why? Because at this point in our history, as we've heard many times over, we can process exabytes of data at lightning speed, and we have the potential to make bad decisions far more quickly, efficiently, and with far greater impact than we did in the past. Great, right? And so what we need to do instead is spend a little bit more time on things like the humanities and sociology, and the social sciences, rhetoric, philosophy, ethics, because they give us context that is so important for big data, and because they help us become better critical thinkers. - If I don't know what steps you took, I don't know what steps you didn't take, and if I don't know what questions you asked, I don't know what questions you didn't ask In education we currently have a love affair with data, without bothering to ask whether the questions we're asking are the right ones, or the only ones. Data doesn't create meaning. We do.