Full disclosure: we LOVE Nate Silver. His data-minded approach to life and his analytical blogging under his FiveThirtyEight brand takes after our very own hearts. We are especially fond of his propensity for using statistics and data analysis to forecast – politics, business, sports – at an eerily accurate level. In fact, his forecasts have been so on-point that speculation has arisen that Nate Silver might actually be a witch.
Given this, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to see him speak on “The Signal and the Noise: Why Some Predictions Fail – but Others Don’t” during a keynote at HubSpot’s Inbound 2013 conference. Here are 9 of our favorite quotes and takeaways that we gleaned from listening to the great Nate Silver speak.
1) “Statistics is the science of finding relationships and actionable insights from data.” - (Click to Tweet!)
2) “As the amount of information increases, the complexity of relationships between this information increases faster.” - (Click to Tweet!)
3) “The quest for certainty in forecasting outcomes can be the enemy of progress.” - (Click to Tweet!)
4) “What makes data rich? Quantity, quality, variety. Rich data is more reliable than Big data.” - (Click to Tweet!)
5) “Know where you’re coming from – be alert to your blind spots and biases.” - (Click to Tweet!)
6) “If you don’t know where you are in the present, it’s hard to take quality steps toward the future.” - (Click to Tweet!)
7) “When you have culture, context and competition working in synergy, you can achieve great gains.” - (Click to Tweet!)
8) “If you’re betting on a correlation without a strong causal link, you’re going to get burned.” - (Click to Tweet!)
9) “The road to wisdom? Well, it’s plain and simple to express. Err, and err again, but less and less.” - (Click to Tweet!)
Do you have any other favorite Nate Silver quotes? Share them in the comments section below!