Keeping Up With Data #76

5 minutes for 5 hours’ worth of reading

Adam Votava
3 min readApr 1, 2022

Data hasn’t delivered on its promise yet. But in the last couple of years, we have seen a great progress. Also partly thanks to the hype around big data, which fuelled a lot of investment into technology and data companies. These have been helping to educate and influence the market and bringing data to everyone’s lives. And that’s a reason to celebrate. And yes, there is still a lot more to be done! We are learning that making data initiatives successful requires more than just data scientists. Business people are getting more involved with data every day. And that is a great trend, but there is always a risk to overdo it and start relying on data too much.

These are the topics of today’s reading list. Enjoy.

  • Your Data Initiatives Can’t Just Be for Data Scientists: I’ve often mentioned the importance of building two-way bridges between business and data. And since data science is about solving business problems with data and analytics, non-data people can’t be kept away from the data projects. “Companies need to start seeing regular people as part of their data strategy. Data teams must work with regular people every day […].” The article suggests that every data project starts with two questions: (1) Who will this effort touch? (2) How do we get them involved as soon as possible? Like they say: “It’s business first”. (HBR)
  • The ‘Failure’ Of Big Data: The term ‘Big Data’ is around for slightly over ten years. It came with very high expectations that haven’t really materialised yet. However, the whole movement has triggered a lot of innovation and a lot of effort by the companies to get the value from their data. And as such, it was a catalyst of a great progress. Are we there yet? Not really. Is it better than ten years ago? Certainly! (Forbes)
  • You’re relying on data too much: There are companies that are relying on data too much. Is that even possible you ask? “The idea that more data and analyses makes for better decisions is fundamentally untrue.” Jacqueline shares an anecdotal example how a good idea wasn’t acted upon for years because of the lack of data to support it. Data is a great asset, but it “cannot replace the human intuition, and it cannot remove risk.” So let’s not treat data as the only source of truth. (Jacqueline Nolis @ TDS)

Rainy weekend ahead of us. And it was about time. Not ideal for family walks, not good for cycling, but great for the nature.

In case you missed the last week’s issue of Keeping up with data

Thanks for reading!

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Adam Votava

Data scientist | avid cyclist | amateur pianist (I'm sharing my personal opinion and experience, which should not to be considered professional advice)