In our hyper-connected world, data blasts us every minute of the day – emails, notifications, invitations, advertisements, extracts, reports, documents, headlines, tweets, podcasts, posts. How much is enough? How much is too much? The answer is it doesn’t matter, as long as it is the data we need when we need it.
Turns out, finding the right data is no easy task. First, how do we define right? It’s the data we need when we need it. It’s the data that answers a question right now (who has time to wait?!). It’s the data that proves our point.
In other words, data has become subjective, personal. But data is meant to be factual – true, objective. Right? No, data exists in a context, not in a vacuum. Context softens objectivity – or it explains it. The fact is, without context, data is meaningless.
The means to create data used to be limited – expensive, time and labor consuming, available to only a few. Access to data was equally limited for much of history. Those constraints led to only really important information being recorded. You would go to the time and expense only when it counted. We live now in an age of data excess: create, share, access data in milliseconds from your smartphone or computer. From a consumer point of view, the volume of data can be overwhelming, but mostly it is a wonderful, exciting phenomenon!
From the point of view of a business owner – someone who is responsible for creating, using, protecting data for a particular purpose and safeguarding data from unauthorized use – the mountain of data begins to feel insurmountable.
So, where to start…
- Financial data – manage your money
- Regulatory data – comply with the law
- Asset data – build and maintain safe and efficient buildings, pipelines, wind farms
Any starting point is a good one. This is a long journey – and it is a vital one. I look forward sharing it with you: exploring the options, defining the steps, and achieving the goal: ” the right data when you need it.”