Despite my apprehension about going to any talk surrounding the topic of the discussion of what I percieve to be numbers in raw form, I really enjoyed the conversation of the idea of data. Professor Aaron Henlon made some truly interesting points in his discussion about fact and truth, about the origins of the word data as the word of God, and of the evolution of the use of data. In thinking about how I use data, and how I will use data, it will not be as fact or as truth, but as the building blocks of cases for a point in thesis, investment ideas, and marketing pitches. Data is not fact, rather it is the first point in thinking about how to forumulate ideas and opinions. Data is something that can be manipulated, in that it is something that can be interpreted. Just as important as the numbers that are included are the numbers or series of numbers that are not included. In thinking about data as fact, the point is missed that facts are proven while numbers are not.
I really liked the historical discussion surrouding data, and the trends surrounding the ideas of fact and truth. I think that data does come in all sizes, and can be both quantititative and more troublingly qualitative. I think that it qualitative data is the epitomy of the arugement that data is interpretive, even in number form. Qualitative data is something that is no objective.
Somethings that I really have thought about have been the methods of gathering data, and how revolutionary the idea of data mining and gathering have been over the last five to ten years. Recently, Google’s or Alphabets PokemonGO has become a sensation that captured the imaginations of many who have been kids between 1980 through the present. The data that they are able to collect is truly unbelievable. Using your smartphones camera as a guide, they are not only able to advertise through the application, as one might expect, but they are able to collect data on where you are walking, how far you walk, what stores you go into, what food you eat, the clothing you look at, what you are wearing at any given time, whether or not you exercise and how often, and even access your emails all due to an argeement you sign when you open up the application. In thinking about how this can be extracted, we can see how all sorts of data from this alone does not tell any given individual any singular truth. However in aggregate, the collection of these numbers actually tell us alot about behaviors, which again is something that is to be interpreted. I really liked the way Professor Hanlon ended the lecture with his four points about data. I think that BIG DATA truly has been revolutionary in the way he pointed out, how we deal with the globalization of the world and the sheer mass of number and points that are thrown at us help emphasize a point that I made in an earlier post: we are revolutionary in finding new ways to deal with new problems and issues.