Is there a correct way to say the word, "data?" I hear different pronunciations of the word by data experts at conferences, news personalities on TV and even my friends. I recently did a quick Twitter poll to see how other people pronounce that word. Below are the results. Of the three different options provided in the poll, most of the respondents (63%) indicated they pronounce it "day-tuh," followed by "dat-uh," and "dah-tuh" at 21% and 16%, respectively.
— Bob E. Hayes (@bobehayes) November 24, 2015
I used to be a stickler about the pronunciation of the term, data (I say, "day-tuh.") and would correct others when they said it incorrectly. I've stopped that sort of behavior. After all, no matter how you might pronounce the word, I hope we can all agree that the true value of data is in its role in helping us make better, empirically-based, decisions. Data are used to improve business inefficiencies, personalize cancer treatment, improve how cities are governed and more.
This is what it means to live in a Big Data world, and I am thankful that data are being used to make this world a better place. So, rather than discussing political and religious differences during your holiday Turkey feast, talk about the value of data.