Coming Home to Data’s Transformational Power

Posted in: Love Letters to Data

Dear Data,

Thank you for all you have given me over the years—for all the hard lessons, the great insights, the information, and the confirmation and disconfirmation. You have been a North Star for me, helping me to see a direction of travel to transform myself and my customers and to improve the world around me.

Most importantly, you have helped me to know myself better. You have helped me double-check myself, correct me if I am wrong, and confirm my gut when I have suspicions.

When I was eight years old, I first learned of your power to enthrall. I was learning to program on a 16k-bit memory computer, and right from the start, I knew I had to be careful with how I treated you. I learned early that each bit was precious.

I could see your power and how you could change lives, for better or worse.

For example, you helped me identify potential homeless victims, and I felt so glad that these parents and, most of all, their children, had more secure environments. You showed the risks in their lives.

I watched as you helped to fight cancer for individuals and the general population. You revealed matches for bone marrow transplants. You helped chemotherapy patients fight their battles, and I celebrated as I saw people survive cancer with your help. I cried with you when I saw that the missing data meant that the patient was not continuing treatment and they were being called home.

I saw you help treat mental health patients by supporting doctors as they strove to find the best course of treatment for individuals while serving all patients on a grander scale.

I watched as you helped the nation’s health during the COVID pandemic. You were in the news daily, and people worldwide started to pay attention to your power as we lived our lives with your truth. Ignoring or twisting your truth became one of the world’s most dangerous and unseen threats. I hope other people will pick up the flame too and see your power if we work with you properly and with love.

When I first discovered you all those years ago, I felt like I was coming home.

Nowadays, I still feel the same way. With you by my side, I could find a way to help the world. I’m so grateful. Thank you for all the unseen work that you do. And now, I hope it is your time to shine. Let’s hold hands together for good.

Love, always,
Jennifer

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