Data is an ageless concept, with countless means of describing the things you were looking at. Therefore, knowing that you needed to remember what you saw, so you recorded it. The next time you saw it, you recognised it and compared it with the last time you saw it.
Patterns were central when you compared notes with others, they collaborated with your opinion that your understanding was correct. With that common understanding you were able to work together, communicate efficiently, to exchange the data that would move you ahead, achieve the outcomes you strove for. You were successful in your endeavours because you had the data asset. You improved your confidence in achieving your expected outcomes by making the best decisions, based on what you knew to be sure, as well as recognising the reliability of your understanding for the situations you found yourself in.
Then the problem was you could not get the data fast enough and decisions took time and actions were delayed. The internet changed everything.
Now the flow of data is increasing exponentially and those that know how to ride these torrid rapids of information flowing through the digital world are going to succeed.
If it were only so easy. The internet came to my house around Y2K. The first bit of infrastructure was hung between poles and the internet was carried through a cable and connected to a device that connected to another device that connected to the computer.
The computer had applications that knew how to configure and make use of this internet. There were only a few where now there are endless numbers. Applications built to deliver a service, a service that offered different capabilities described with processing verbs and informative nouns.
Problem is that people get tired of their infrastructure, move off one type to another. But how to keep their precious knowledge that is stored on that infrastructure? Get an application to move it to another application? Sounds like a simple process, if the computer systems, these applications, use the same processing verbs and informative nouns.
New applications brought new processing verbs and informative nouns to demonstrate their niche. They presented their point of view of what was going on and what was important. Applications can leverage the ever-increasing array of infrastructure for providing more services that people would want to consume.
Now people are using informative nouns to describe their perspective of the things without getting a common understanding first. This can result in the misconception that you are talking about the same thing when you are not. It leaves you open for a disastrous result of building a service for someone and misunderstanding what they asked for and subsequently your business falls short of achieving its outcomes.
The amount of time and money wasted because of a communication breakdown could be exponential.
Using data to be successful relies heavily on a common understanding of the words, the terms we use. Data management professionals make it their passion to achieve a common understanding of the fundamentals of data that enable clear and recognisable communication. Terms are fundamental, and we manage them in glossaries. Terms that align with vocabularies to reflect the common understanding before they evolve into dictionary entries that record what is being stored or moved through the digital world.
If it were not for data, we would not know what we were talking about.
For a data-driven decision you need to acquire the data, have the right semantics surrounding it, and then you will be able to make the decisions to achieve your outcomes.
Sharing data is something everyone can do. Thank you, data, for showing us how to achieve common understanding.