Are the Hitslink gods crazy? The problem with data

The numbers don't lie...but they sure can stretch the truth, and not through any malevolent intent of those compiling it. It's simply very hard to capture accurate data.

When I checked Hitslink yesterday, it showed Apple's Mac jumping 52 percent . Now the number has retreated to a more reasonable number. People thought I was making up the Hitslink number - I wasn't. It's what I found when I visited the site, as captured in the graphic I show.

O'Reilly takes a stab at measuring Mac adoption. Undoubtedly, its data is flawed, too, as it admits.

Hitlink also had Firefox market share declining, though not by an unreasonable amount. Still, Mozilla says the Hitslink data is flawed.

The numbers don't lie...but they sure can stretch the truth, and not through any malevolent intent of those compiling it. It's simply very hard to capture accurate data. The best way to measure adoption is by your own: Anything more than that is just guesswork.

Tags:
Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Don't Miss
    Hot Products
    Trending on CNET

    HOT ON CNET

    Still taking notes with pen and paper?

    Bump up your grades and school supplies with these laptops, desktops, and tablets!