Chris J Powell

Data, Data Everywhere…Not a Drop to Drink

The tap has been turned on for a while.  The amount of available data that we can take in, work with and muck about with is to say the least…daunting.  As I complete my first assignment and start working on the second week of Lectures in my Introduction to Data Science Course I have really started to look around at the freely available data sets and to say the least I am impressed with just how much information has been released from the chains of Corporate and Government control.  As I look through different options for Data Sets I can feel myself becoming like Neo from the Matrix…it is a cool feeling to have the access and the ability to manipulate, control and create new information from nothing more than simple data!

Decisions and Predictions can truly be made and when you combine the freely available data sets (like those found in the Open Data Portals here in Canada) I really start to gather in just how important it is to be able to take the data from many sources and create a cohesive understanding of the problems and challenges that we face today.  These problems could be as simple as what restaurant should I take my daughter to for my Birthday on Saturday but can start to get incredibly complex as we start to look into the data sets and start to apply some statistical analysis.

I am starting to see some interesting trends in my initial project (which I decided I would relate back to my current job in hopes of getting out from under the chains of being a customer service jockey).

I see the world as something far more now that I have the beginnings of a real understanding of how Data Drives us all.

There are no fates that bring us together.

Everything can be boiled down into a statistical probability and for this older student…I can see the bits falling into place all around me.

It brings me back to my time as a Workforce Management Professional in a call center in Ottawa when I would look at the call trends and help to adjust the staffing requirements based on that call volume.  I was able to do the calculations in my head…I am starting to get that “mojo” back when it comes to looking at the data sets.  I can see the trends…now I just need to create visualizations that can be shared and acted upon…that is what being a Data Scientist is all about…it is not about hording all the Data…it is about freeing the Data…and it is only in that Freedom that we can drink from the fountain of Data…otherwise it all just is a collection of 1’s and 0’s.

Well that is all for now…have a wonderful day!



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