“In God we trust. All others must bring data.” – W. Edwards Deming, statistician, professor, author, lecturer, and consultant

“Torture the data, and it will confess to anything.” -Ronald Coase, Economics, Nobel Prize Laureate

My favourite is the one about torturing data. I have been analysing data for many years and it is one of the biggest traps – a human trait to see patterns where there is none. I noticed recently that there had been a study, published in Nature, where only a relatively small proportion of conclusions reached in medical studies published and peer reviewed in the literature can actually be confirmed based (in a statistical sense) on the data presented and explains why many studies cannot be subsequently reproduced.