‘It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.’ – Sherlock Holmes in A Scandal in Bohemia.
The process of discovering the truth through close observation of facts is one of the most satisfying intellectual pursuit. An unsolved mystery is always inviting and exciting. Connecting facts together with strings of logic and heading towards the truth is similar to building a house of cards. You slowly progress by building a foundation and build on top of it, a single fault in the deck can collapse the entire house.
Analytics at its base is all about the art of observation and deduction. But when we discuss about the data analytics in today’s context, the scale of the task is huge. Its about making these tiny observations and deductions million times within a fraction of seconds. Its about designing a system that can handle the scale of data inputs and make decisions.
But why love analytics?
Reason 1: The sheer level of optimization which can be achieved.
The idea that more can be done by less effort, can only be achieved through optimization. Using analytics tools and methods, one can study the data being created during the process and find out the optimum way to do the task. This could mean making a system faster, or yield more. Analytics is an important field which can enable reduce lots of resource usages and work hours on any task.
Reason 2: Discovering new break-through ideas.
Using analytics tools one can slice and dice data into various units to reveal the true nature of the system. If its the social media data, it could reveal the behaviour of people and their interests. If its the health data then one can understand the trends in the evolution of living organism. In fact, the evolution theory itself was based on the observation of features of various organism of same type, which Darwin categorized to reveal the hidden correlation.
Reason 3: Making bigger impacts in the world.
Being in the field of analytics is always exciting as you may never know what you will stumble upon. The impact of a simple discovery could lead to the revolution in technology or that of man-kind. The trend in the change in temperature of earth could reveal the impending natural disaster. The trend in the google search of health related keywords could reveal the impending pendemy. And so much more.
Reason 4: The art of data visualization and story telling.
Beside the optimization and analyzing of data, the visualization of the results and findings is as important as the prior. The visualization in itself includes opportunities to tell amazing stories. When Hans Rosling showed the amazing story of relation between child fertility to GDP and many other econometric data, the world was amazed. This requires not only the understanding of data and tools, but also that of art of storytelling. And that is fascinating.
Reason 5: Experiencing the power to harness large set of data.
Finally, its about taming the data to speak the truth. The fact that you can analyze billions of data set and bring it down to few statements like relationships between two variables or disproving the hypothesis is remarkable.
The world has moved towards an age where data generation and consumption is happening at speed of light. The possibilities of discovering trends and impacting the businesses is immense. Hence we find ourselves lucky enough to be in the field of analytics which is going to make impact in the future technologies and businesses.
Image Credits: http://www.sherlockandwatson.com/