Dancing with data

Tirthajyoti Sarkar observed in a recent post (link):

a data-driven analytics process is much like a complex and intricate dance performance, where a high degree of harmony between the participants — data extraction, wrangling, statistical modeling, business logic, etc.— is absolutely necessary for any measure of success.

His thoughts about a data analytics process resonated strongly with my view of the analysis of performance as an interdisciplinary activity and one that seeks to make sense of “a heady cocktail of multiple tools and techniques”.
This making sense will be increasingly important in a fourth industrial revolution that H K Brar proposes will be powered by a third (electrified) data rail (link). She notes:

The data tracks the have been laid in the previous wave of digitization (Third Industrial Revolution) still remain, but the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be electrified and truly come to fruition by the proverbial ‘third rail’: turning data into a powerful commodity — as powerful as steam, electricity, coal, and oil in the traditional economy.

In the choreography and performance of dancing with data, HK suggests we address six stages of data lifecycles:

  • Creation, Capture
  • Storage, Organization, Processing
  • Use, Analysis
  • Publishing, Sharing
  • Back-Up, Maintenance
  • Destruction or Re-Use

HK concludes her discussion with these questions:

  • Is the data valuable?
  • Is there a willingness-to-pay for the value extracted from the data?
  • Is the data rare, precious, niche, or expensive to obtain?
  • Is there an intrinsic value that is extracted by ensuring the data’s wholeness or accuracy?
  • Is there a requirement for data permanency?
  • Is real-time access to data important?
  • Is there a requirement to check and validate the data, and by whom?
  • Is sharing of data amongst business ecosystem participants important?
  • Is there a requirement of how data can be creation, and by whom?

I think these kinds of questions are an excellent way of starting whole of organisation conversations about the dancing we will do together with data … that are being created at a present rate of nearing 3 quintillion bytes each day (link).
Photo Credit

Dancing in Sofia, Byron Stumman on Unsplash


    • Very good point, Chris. I wondered if the interpretation of data was included in the Use, Analysis part of the life cycle.


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