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For the most part, the methods were developed early in the last century, when collecting data was an expensive proposition. For this reason, to reduce the cost of data collection many of the methods were predicated on taking random samples. Moreover, analyzing data could take hours or days, even with small data sets. Neither of these conditions still holds. Rather than a trickle of data, one is now confronted with a fire hose of data. Of course, this does not mean that there are no longer problems of data quality; much of the data is entered by humans, not automatically recorded, and dates, names, and other entries are not always entered correctly.
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