Besides being a data geek I am also interested in pre-modern history. So it’s always nice when I’m able to combine data management and history.
A recurring subject in historian circles is a suspicion saying that Explorer Marco Polo never actually went to China.
As said in the linked article from The Telegraph: “It is more likely that the Venetian merchant adventurer picked up second-hand stories of China, Japan and the Mongol Empire from Persian merchants whom he met on the shores of the Black Sea – thousands of miles short of the Orient”.
When dealing with data and ramping up data quality a frequent challenge is that some data wasn’t captured by the data consumer – not even by the organization using the data. Some of the data stored in company databases are second-hand data and in some cases the overwhelming part of data is captured outside the organization.
As with the book telling about Marco Polo’s (alleged) travels called “Description of the World” this doesn’t mean that you can’t trust anything. But maybe some data are mixed up a bit and maybe some obvious data are missing.