Do you ask your data questions or do you wait for it to talk?
There is something that every once in a while shocks me, again and again, although I mentally should know.
When I look at my data coming in, when I look at their analysis, it sometimes makes me proud. My ‘Data Hubble’ lets me look into the depth of business mechanics that I never knew about. The shock comes when I realize that there is a difference between what I can see, and what I was looking for.
What I see is nothing but the past. The depth of data stands for the depth of time that I am looking into. However what I was looking for is some certainty about my tomorrow, as the past I cannot change. What can I do today that makes me look smart in the future? Instead of finding an answer to that question, what I see is what would have been the right thing to do some time ago.
Not that we cannot learn from the past. However, the question is not one of good sense, but rather a technical one. How long will I ‘historic’ data allow to impact my success models for the future? Or in other words, when do we reach the point that past data contribute more to the noise side than to the information side?
The answer depends on the speed of change, or the stability of conditions under which we need to be successful. But independent of this, we probably are among those who take advantage of speeding up the decay of incumbents. Therefore, we better focus on data as future as can be.
How to do that? Here is a life hack that is able to turn things around: Don’t look at the data stream and watch data getting old as they do not talk to you. Look at your data lake and talk to it yourself. Ask questions. Inform about where you want to be (or go), and ask it how much it can help to find the right way into the future. Then it talks to you. But only then.
Your problem from now on will be your data stream. Once it starts to talk, it never stops again. How to deal with this? Probably what we need is another life hack. But this time probably not a technical one, but one of everyday life. We may have been there before.
What a nice topic for a Customer Gardening Lab!