How to manage data badly (part I)
In a landmark article in The American Statistician, Howard Wainer (1984) presented ideas for "How to Display Data Badly," wherein good data are ruined by bad graphics. In this essay, I extend his concept by presenting ideas and examples of how scientific data can be managed badly so that they never even make it to the graphics stage. Modern database management software, continually improving hardware and networks, and many sound recommendations for managing ecological data are making it increasingly difficult to manage data badly. Those people still having trouble mismanaging data, whether they are database managers, administrators, or scientists, will find the following techniques helpful.