Data is the heart of business

Posted in: Business Insights, Love Letters to Data

Dear Data,

Years ago, when you worked in another department, I admit that I spent only fleeting amounts of time thinking about you.  

Certainly, I appreciated the fact that you were important enough to be stored securely and backed up regularly, and in the rare occasions archived for future generations. But for the most part, I thought you were only the side-effect of the centerstage Application world. You were just what was created when the SAVE button was pressed.  

I was so foolish and naïve back then!  

Over the years, we would see each other in town hall meetings or in the cafeteria, and I could see your fanbase was growing. Little by little everyone started to pay attention to the innovations you were making. A small decision here, a brighter insight there, even the foundation of a new product last year.  

With all of your great news, I started to reconsider all the time and energy I was putting on my two best friends, Applications and Infrastructure. They are SO different from you. Infrastructure only lasts two or three years, and then I have to replace the entire lot. If I let Infrastructure grow, they start to cost an overwhelming amount of money just in everyday care and feeding. Applications are the same in many ways. I have a little longer to replace them – every five to seven years, or they start to get slow, start getting sloppy, and they never show up on time. If I have too many Applications, they create their own little cliques, and focus on their own needs and forget about all their friends.

But you, my sweet Data, are 180 degrees different from them.  

In fact, you never get old, never get stale. You learn different skills all the time, perfect them, and get to apply those skills differently every day. You have an amazing ability to change your value to various parts of the business with every month that passes.

Also the more your team grows, the better you become as a collective unit. The bigger the team, the bigger the pot, the more nuggets of gold you can hold. The bigger the pot, the more precise your predictions for the future. The bigger the pot, the more decisions you can help make, the better you make the company.  

What a fool I was ignoring you all those years. It’s been you who kept the business running. It was you who knew how to make us grow. I hope you’ll forgive me and just know that there is no real end to how much you mean to me.  

So from this point forward, I’m putting you front and center every day. All of my success will be because of you. All of my honesty and transparency will because you are my truth. 

I will wake every day knowing that you are both inspiring me and protecting me.  

Yours forever and ever,

Paul

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