Have we all become addicted to data?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Richard Weisser Realty

Have we all become addicted to data?Is it an out of control obsession or a deep rooted compulsion? Has our addiction to data taken over common sense in our everyday decision making processes?

Due to the proliferation of open sources for information, we can find out nearly EVERYTHING about ANYTHING. And the information is usually free.

But has the ability to obtain, analyze and extrapolate information from raw data become such an integral part of decision making that we are paralyzed from making a choice without it?

In addition, all too often we don’t even validate the integrity of the data we are using. We often just accept it as fact and choose to rely on it without so much as a second opinion.

Living back in the data dark ages wasn’t always such a bad thing.

At least we could make a decision in under five seconds!


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Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

My  memories dont go back as far as some, lol, but I do agree that the "good old days" are missed!!

Nov 14, 2011 02:15 AM #11
Don MacLean
Simolari & MacLean REMAX EXECUTIVE REALTY - Franklin, MA
Realtor - Homes For Sale - Franklin MA

Richard, so true..................read ,analyze, debate etc.

What does our gut check tell us ...... 

Enjoy the day

Nov 14, 2011 02:28 AM #12
Brian Rugg
Rugg Realty LLC Sun City Texas 512-966-3200 - Georgetown, TX
Sun City TX Real Estate - Georgetown, TX Real Est

Hello Richard:

Data without understanding is pretty useless. As you point out, data is only the first step, having the wisdom to use it correctly still takes life experience. 

Nov 14, 2011 03:21 AM #13
Bob Jakowinicz
National Realty Centers Livonia--Bob Jakowinicz - Livonia, MI
Michigan Real Estate Agent-- MI RE Adventures

Just about anyone can put anything on the web so we have to be careful on who and where it came from.  This reminds me of the old saying that Floyd Wickman likes to use "Paralysis of the Analysis" hence never deciding on anything.

Nov 14, 2011 06:10 AM #14
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional


And it can end up consuming all of our time! thanks so much.


Right you are. Check and double check. THX


And other buyers jump right in and get a great deal. Thanks.

Nov 14, 2011 07:54 AM #15
Hank Miller
Harry Norman Realtors - Alpharetta, GA
Associate Broker & Certified Appraiser

Web MD didn't mint a new crop of doctors, Weather.com a group of "weather people" and travelocity a band of travel agents....all of this web based real estate data is doing nothing more than clogging the radar. A good majority of it is inaccurate and most clients and a fair amount of agents don't know how to apply it.

I don't need 100lbs of C4 to blow a bridge, 5lbs well placed will result in the same effect. It's quality, not quantity of data and it's putting it on target so that it applies. I've been doing just that since '89 as an appraiser.


Nov 15, 2011 12:20 AM #16
Glenn Roberts
Retired - Seattle, WA

Engineers often get the bad rap for being too analytical. In the past 15 years there has been a proliferation of software engineers and their pies don't satisfy like grandma's. TMI has become a catch phrase to quiet many who expound too much without ever moving forward. It must be about time for the great unlearned to start moving this country forward again and just go ahead and buy something.

Nov 15, 2011 01:27 AM #17
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Richard: I look at this way: When the book "Blink" came out, I got the message loud and clear and realized that all of my decisions in business AND life are brought into being in a flash or "in the blink of an eye"! The premise of the book is that we make our best decisions from the "gut" level and that means that things/ideas may not appear to make a difference but they do in a very surface ways--if we count on them for anything more, that is where we get stuck in the muck and mire.  Over-thinking data and situations can be crippling to our growth. The way data is used ,most often , in my opinion is as a frame work for your business instincts to be re-enforced and nothing more. As quickly as you read the data, you move on. Data becomes a spring board for further information but it is not the be-all, end-all. It is merely the support system for your thinking and planning and nothing more....Great post theme!

Nov 15, 2011 02:13 AM #18
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

Analysis paralysis is alive and well!

Nov 15, 2011 02:48 AM #19
Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

I like your point, "All too often we don't validate the integrity of the data"  I like data and always have.  But the data I trust the most, is the data I generate. While everyone else is moaning about what a huge percentage of our market is short sales, I know that's not true.  While the majority of Americans think anywhere from 50-100% of our homes are underwater, I know that's not true. I like to be the one who knows the truth, and doesn't just parrot what 'everyone' else says.

Nov 15, 2011 03:15 AM #20
Marshall Brown
Mid America Inspection Services, LLC - Fargo, ND

Being on the technical side of things I am always impressed with the way data are stated. As an example of this go on line and find out how great a percentage of you total energy costs you can save by increasing your insulation, reducing air migration, replacing your furnace, replacing your windows, replacing your water heater, changing to CFL lights, adding low flow toilets, faucets and shower heads and installing a programmable thermostat.

Add the saving all up and you can save well over a hundred percent.  You have to love data manipulation.

Nov 15, 2011 04:43 AM #21
Kate Akerly
Kaminsky Group - Manhattan Beach, CA
Manhattan Beach Residential Sales

I definitely agree that few people actually validate (or even think about) the reliability of the data they choose to rely upon.  Furthermore, most data analysis done by agents and consumers in our industry is little more than a cursory review of key numbers.  Few people actually delve into it in a way that will produce useful and non-obvious results.

Nov 15, 2011 05:41 AM #22
Jayson Holland
Listings.com - Denver, CO
Jay Holland

Validation of the data is extremely important. Especially when there are so-called "real estate" websites out there offering values (what the heck is a zestimate anyway?) GIGO: garbage in=garbage out.


If you dont validate the data it is worthless.

Nov 15, 2011 06:24 AM #23
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

True, to much information is not a good thing if it is bad information or it leads to indecision.  

Nov 15, 2011 07:23 AM #24
Winston Heverly
Winston Realty, Inc. - Atlantis, FL

I love data like never before. I seem to challange myself as to how to control the upper hand in doing a profile of someone before we meet. It 's amazing what you can find out just by Googling an email address.

Nov 15, 2011 11:41 AM #25
Kathy Strader
Memorial Staged Homes - Houston, TX

Unfortunately, we can almost always find data that supports our position.  Therein lies the danger.

Nov 15, 2011 01:44 PM #26
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Validate to confirm and apply appropriately, regardless bad or inaccurate input data produces inaccurate or bad solutions. 

Nov 15, 2011 01:46 PM #27
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Richard,  As an engineer, I AM data!  I usually start my presentation with "if I give you too much, stop me!"  They never do.  I AM data!

Nov 16, 2011 12:18 PM #28
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty

Such a great post Richard and the answer is definitely yes.  I think this contributes to people being so indecisive and is also often the cause of poor decision making even with all of the information out there.

Nov 17, 2011 06:34 AM #29
Sylvie Stuart
Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765 - Flagstaff, AZ
Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta
You can find what you're looking for, too. You can find information to support almost any idea, good or bad. There is endless information at our fingertips
Jan 10, 2012 12:30 AM #30
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Richard Weisser

Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional
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