When faced with oodles of data, as we usually are with web analytics, it’s often hard to discern the meaningful information – what data analyst Nate Silver (of whom I blogged previously) calls the ‘signal’ – from the useless information, the ‘noise’ which signifies nothing.

Sometimes the signal is hard to spot because it’s not what we expected. Without even realising it we look for patterns of information that fit our narrative of how of we think people behave; the activities – or stories – that we feel to be true.

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