I got married to my partner of 12 years a couple of weeks ago. When you are with someone for that long, you obviously get to know them pretty well. Hundreds of thousands of conversations after our first meeting (well, at least it seems like it), we found ourselves in Palma, pledging to be with each other for the rest of our lives.
Like it was in any doubt….
Anyway, it got me thinking. It is pretty amazing that two human beings can grow to be so close, but actually it is all about the data. When you get to know someone that well, it is almost as if the neurons in your respective brains fire off each other as well as off themselves. A certain situation comes along, and I instinctively know how she will react. When I have a disappointment at work, she knows the right words to say. Different scenarios repeat themselves over and over, and every time our brains are processing immense amounts of data about each other.
This data is incredibly precious, and we store it away in a very special place.
We know that it might come in useful one day.
One of the secrets of a great relationship (I must admit that I still know very few of them) is to be present for each other as much as possible. If you are truly listening to your partner, you can pick up on all those little signals that are unsaid. That is where the true riches of the data lie and the more complicated the layers, the deeper the understanding.
It isn’t so different for Big Data in business actually.
The more attentive you are in terms of how you manage and manipulate your data, the better the understanding of any given situation. If you do not cherish the data within your business, it is certain to be all but useless. Are the figures accurate? What might impact on them? Should that impact be captured in your analysis? Data does not exist in a vacuum – there is always a wider context. If that context is not captured, the data will be that little bit less useful.
So, as my wife was walking up that aisle the other day, it struck me how much we had been through. My brain was awash with emotion (maybe I was still suffering from the stag do), and the overwhelming feeling was one of excitement for what is to come. All those moments of joy with our young family, shared experiences and fulfilled dreams. All that data flowing between us all to bring us even closer. I am a lucky man.
When you care about the data, the data will bring the most wonderful insights. I am lucky that my wife has cared about my data enough to stick with me for so long. I love every byte that I have ever processed from her.
Tenuous link? Maybe? But if you don’t love your data, it won’t love you back.