I had an interesting conversation with a young participant at the February, 2011 Strata Conference on “data science” during a break in first day action.
He was tasked by his company with sifting through quite a bit of messy data and making sense of it quickly. When I sympathized with his plight, he responded by saying dirty data wasn't a big problem. His concern was more the tight time frame for getting the work done. Management seemed empathetic to the dirty data, opining that an approximate answer quickly was more important than a belated, precise one.
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