… is from page 219 of the original, 1957 edition of Anthony Downs’s pioneering book, An Economic Theory of Democracy:
In a complex society, information which is used by one citizen is often gathered, transmitted, and analyzed by others. If the user is to know what his information really means in terms of his decision-making, he must be sure these others have the same principles of selection he has, or know how their principles differ from his.
DBx: Data are surprisingly complex. And so even truthful data can easily mislead. Beware of the challenges of collecting data, how data are processed, and exactly to what they refer. The complexities are surprisingly many and often very subtle.