GRE Issue Essay 13
“It is a grave mistake to theorize before one has data.”
Data are facts or pieces of information that help in fining out things or making decisions. We analyze the data, study its nature in different situations and circumstances and form hypothesis and theories based on the observation. This hypothesis becomes the basis of many inventions and discoveries. However, if the theory is not derived from the observations of a given data, it might be misleading and result in wrong postulates.
For any work, there is a lot of initial preparation and planning that goes in. This preparation sets the foundation of the success of the work to be carried out. If the foundation is strong, it will help in executing the work in a successful way. On the other hand, if we execute the task without proper planning and preparation, we are bound to get stuck somewhere. If you are lucky you might get another chance, but life is not all that considerate. An opportunity knocks the door but once. Hence, it is up to us to make the best of it when it comes.
When you have no data and you trust only your imagination and foresight, you are bound to meet with surprises. Data gives you authentic and trustable information. On the other hand, you cannot trust your ability to foresee things since their relevance can be seen only in future. Data is like the wheels of a vehicle which are important for it to run. Without wheels, it is a useless piece of junk.
Let us take an example. While planning for a week long trip, you will plan beforehand and collect all the required materials. You need to pack up things like clothes, medicines, and sometimes even food for it. You need to think about the most suitable and convenient way of traveling. Apart from this you need to study the place where you are traveling for its special requirements. That means that if the place is too cold, you will need to prepare yourself for it. Without planning, you can find yourself in a difficult position and ruin the trip. Moreover, planning is required to be complete and not just restricted to one area. We can see how planning goes into a small thing like a week long trip. Hence, it can be understood that preparation and planning is vital to all the important tasks that need to be executed. This is the same as having information and data before you begin a task.
Similarly, to take important decisions, you need to have authentic and genuine information. Let us see the wider aspect of decision making. When a government has to make policies and laws for its citizen, it needs to have a proper understanding of the conditions they are living in, how many people are living in the country and how many will get affected with the change in laws. If the statistics of a county’s people shows a majority of people living under the poverty line it will be beneficial to make policies suitable for them. Opening small scale industries, imparting free education, giving job opportunities etc. are beneficial for such a country. However, such policies and laws are not successful for a developed country where the people are rich and well off. Hence, forming small-scale industries will be of no use there. It is only known with proper data at the time of planning as to what the needs of the society are.
It can therefore be said that data, information, planning and preparation are prerequisite of any new work at hand. Without these there is a lot left to chance which can prove to be a blunder.