What Do Regression Models Indicate? #MRX

I just returned from two of the best marketing research conferences out there, ESOMAR and WAPOR, and was flipping through the notebook of rants and raves that I create as I listen to speakers. Interestingly, even at these conferences, where the best of the best speak, I heard a certain phrase repeatedly.

The regression model indicated…”
“The data indicated…”
“The results indicated…”

Well you know what? The data indicated absolutely nothing. Zip. Zilch. Zero.

Data is data. Numbers in a table. Points in a chart. Pretty diagrams and statistical output.

The only thing that indicated anything is you. YOU looked at the data and the statistical output and interpreted it based on your limited or extensive skills, knowledge, and experience. If I were to review your data, My skills, knowledge, and experience might say that it indicates something completely different.

Data are objective and indicate nothing. Take responsibility for your own interpretations.

(Me at esomar)

5 responses

  1. what would be the best way to interpret the findings?

    i mean, what words/phrase should be used instead of, “the results indicated…”

    learning a lot from your blog.

    1. “I concluded that” would work perfectly.
      And thanks for your kind words. 🙂

  2. HI Annie, lovely rant on semantics to start the week 🙂 Point taken though, I’m sure I’ve been guilty of that type of language in my presentations. Have a great week!

    1. Why thank you 🙂

  3. The cartoon indicates that France hasn’t produced a good artist since Rembrandt.

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