Good data analysis depends on good data. Good data depend on people. That’s because at some point people need to link data to real life such as when they tag people in pics. Moreover, in almost all cases they aren’t data experts. Therefore, understanding the importance of data can motivate non-experts to link well. This in turn makes data better.
Data, More Than Just Numbers
Most people think data are just information, mainly numbers. Yes, this is partially true. Data not only include numbers but text, pics, sound and video. Still, data go beyond this too as they involve patterns, relationships and predictions.
Data are like microscopes. They help us see things we can’t. Next time you take a picture, set your camera at the highest resolution. Then, zoom on the pic with an image viewer. You will see things that you did not see.
Data do the same thing. They help us see things that we can’t, such as a flu virus. A bunch of numbers and facts now make sense. We’re sick. Running noses, aching muscles, rising fatigue form a pattern. It’s not random.
Data not only help us see things better. They help us see how things are related. Many times it’s not clear.
For instance, colds don’t cause the flu. Yet, flu cases rise when it’s cold. Body data show our bodies burn more energy when it’s cold. They also show that resistance to disease weakens as energy declines. So, when weak, we’re more likely to catch the flu from someone.
Consumer products are another example. Lifestyle links many of them, earthy versus fashionable, practical versus luxury. So does personality, conservative versus liberal, extrovert versus introvert.
In the end, the patterns and relationships data show help us make predictions. When cold weather hits, more people will get the flu. If we can’t see something, a high resolution pic might. If someone buys an earthy product, he might buy this other one too.
The best example of prediction is weather. Weather has patterns. The aspects of weather have relationships. Snow happens when it’s cold. Rain when warm. When will it rain and how much? How likely will a tornado or hurricane hit? Where? When? All are predictions data help us make.
Understanding The Importance Of Data
In the end, understanding the importance of data means without data patterns, the world is more invisible. Without data relationships, the world is more chaotic. Finally, without data predictions, the world is more uncertain.
Thus, in short, ensuring good data at any level helps us move further out of the darkness, further out of chaos and further out of uncertainty.
Again though, it all assumes good data in the first place.