Newsletter 25 Importance of reliable data
An emminent academic once commented that South Africa has scant regard for data and information statistics. I want to both agree and disagree. Look at all the economic data that Statistics South Africa, the World Bank, the IMF and our own Reserve Bank announced on a regular basis. Notice how this economic data has become our intelligence to act in a "dispassionate" manner. The neo-liberal economy depends on regular data to either upgrade or downgrade. The same vigor needs to be applied to other social data. Yesterday another professional soccer player lost his life tragically because of a car/road accident.
Unless we have trusted, verified, valid and credible data any attempt to intelligently discuss the carnage on our roads will remain mere conjecture and opinion. The same applies to schools. By now we should have road accident data for the past twenty years in all nine provinces but more so in more than 270 municipalities. The purpose being that emerging patterns will give us the intelligence to respond appropriately. I sincerely hope that the emerging pattern of professional soccer that have perished in road accidents tells a story that soccer cannot deny.
The same I wish for crime and any other social data and statistics that will help us to deal with the complexity of changing human behavior. At all levels, including individual schools, data and information must be collected and analyzed to provide management with intelligence to act smartly.