I believe that Matt is as honest as he is nice and helpful. However the problem with Matt is that he is kentuckian and it seems kentuckians (like boxer Muhammad Ali) have their special way of explaining things (with all due respect to our kind kentuckian fellow members) ;-)
You really need to de-code what Matt say and write to understand what he means :-)
I have noticed that the way we understand an algo update doesn't need to be the same way Matt understand it. And some of us just don't agree with him on that.
We as webmasters and site owners deal with consequences of those Data Refreshes and see and feel their powerful impact on our sites; changes in rankings, changes indexing, possible changes in backlinks numbers and continuous fluctauations in Google's serps.
While Matt see those Data Refresh as "minor" part of a technical process. It might be therefore he keeps saying there hasn't been a major update ;-)
IMO, the reason for fluctations in Google serps are those Data Refreshes which are taking place very close to each other and causing the continuous changes I mentioned.