Precision In, Garbage Out

We often use the phrase garbage in, garbage out when we work with spreadsheets, forecasts, market research, and the like. “Garbage” usually means we don’t trust the numbers we feed in. We certainly share the reader’s fondness for good numbers. There’s more to it than good numbers, though. Precision in produces garbage out when we crunch good numbers badly. “The computer made me do it” doesn’t feel very satisfying.