How can global warming be real when there is so much snow and cold weather? That’s what some people wondered after a couple of massive snowstorms buried Washington, DC, and part of the East Coast. Politicians across the capital made jokes and built igloos as they disputed the existence of climate change. Some concluded the planet simply could not be warming with all the snow on the ground.

These comments frustrated Joseph Romm , a physicist and climate expert with the Center for American Progress. He spent weeks turning data into information and graphs to educate anyone who would listen as to why this reasoning was incorrect. Climate change is all about analyzing data, turning it into information to detect trends. You cannot observe climate change by looking out the window; you have to review decades of weather data with advanced tools to really understand the trends.

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Increasingly, we see politicians, economists and newscasters taking tough issues and boiling them down to simplistic arguments over what the data mean, each interpreting the data and spinning the data to support their views and agendas. You need to understand the data and turn them into useful information or else you will not understand when someone is telling the truth and when you are being lied to.

1. How do they turn data into information?

2. As a manager, what do you need to understand when reading or listening to economic and business reports?


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