A-Z Popular Blog Top Search »

What is Garbage In Garbage Out?

 , updated on
Garbage in, garbage out is the observation that processes, procedures and technologies require meaningful input to produce a meaningful result.


Garbage in, garbage out is a rule of thumb that fights the common temptation to view technology as magic that can always produce results. Specifically, it is common for people to believe that technology can predict the future or optimize results based on data without thinking about the nature of the data or the problem at hand.


A trading algorithm analyzes streams of social media comments to try to detect information about stocks in order to execute advantageous trades. If the data in the social media stream is always meaningless chatter, it is unlikely the algorithm will perform well.
Overview: Garbage In, Garbage Out
Processes, procedures and technologies can only produce meaningful results if their inputs are meaningful.
Related Concepts

Statistical Analysis

This is the complete list of articles we have written about statistical analysis.
Data Science
Exponential Growth
Large Numbers
Misuse of Statistics
Negative Correlation
Positive Correlation
Regression Analysis
Statistical Model
Structured Data
More ...
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.

Correlation vs Causation

The difference explained.

Cognitive Biases

A list of common cognitive biases explained.


Simplicable is a modern encyclopedia that has been updated daily since 2010.

Business Theory

A list of interesting business theories.

Knowledge Work

A definition of knowledge work with examples.

Office Politics

A list of social processes, absurdities and strategies related to office politics.

Product Development

A guide to product development.

Types Of Knowledge

The differences between types of knowledge.

Trough Of Sorrow

An overview of the trough of sorrow.

Business Models

A list of common business models.


A list of key marketing strategies.

Competitive Advantage

A few sources of competitive advantage for businesses.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map