"I've got my facts pretty clear," said Stanley Hopkins. "All I want now is to know what they all mean. The story, so far as I can make it out, is like this." (Pince-Nez.19)
Hopkins basically sums up detective work in a nutshell here. Detective work is about gathering facts and then crafting a coherent story out of them. This is also what Watson himself does as a writer, which sets up an interesting link between him and Holmes.