Chris J Powell

Data, Data Everywhere and not a Bit to Analyze

The Buzz word that everyone including myself is growing tired of hearing is Big Data.  Sure there is lots of it, everywhere but what is the point in storing all that data if there is no intention of leveraging the insights that it may provide?  Is the challenge really the amount of Data that there is…or is it the quality of focus and the ability to connect the dots that is the real challenge with Big Data?

I dug up a rather interesting look at a post from that looks to addressing the big question that people really have on their minds when it comes to Data…Make Data Matter!  I am a firm believer that if you are not doing the right things with Data today, finding new sources and adding to your Data Throughput is not going to make things any better.  Stop thinking of Big Data and really start to focus on the most important part of the Buzz…DATA!

In the article there are five areas that are vital to any Data Analysis project:

  1. Understanding the context of the analysis.
  2. Examining the pedigree of the data.
  3. Graphically representing the process.
  4. Graphically representing the data.
  5. Statistically analyzing the data.

In many ways I think the real challenge for IT Departments today is that they have been so focused on the execution of Projects and Programs for the past decade that the shift away from Process has overcome them.  Taking a step back…and looking into the Requirements Gathering Phase…establishing the base line, applying a scientific method to what the steps and stages will be.  To take a term from my father when he was my Little League Baseball Coach:

“Be the Ball, See the Ball” can now be phrased as “See the Data, Be the Data”

The most common question that I receive from my clients (both primary and secondary users) is, I need a way to document “X”! Where “X” is nearly any given Process.  Tribal Knowledge is not good enough anymore.  We live in a society that may well completely forget how to read if it is not condensed down into Text Message Short Hand with Emoticons attached so there is a very strong need to document the Hows.  That way there is a real focus  on the What, Where, Why, When and Who for any project.


Chris J Powell

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