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Data discovery? It’s a sort of love story

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Data discovery? It’s a sort of love story

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Many of us without the word “data” in our job titles find it hard to have an in-depth relationship with data, even though we encounter it every day in all its forms.

Data decides how we pay for our coffee, what we see when we go online and even the positioning of produce on supermarket shelves. All of these are placed or priced where they are because we live in a data-driven world.

To smart decision-makers, data is king. To the rest of us, however, it is a four-letter word, which we avoid using in polite company.

A dash of romance

Well, to all those averse to the subject of data, let me try to warm you up to the subject by exploring it in a context we can all understand: love. I want to introduce you to the romantic side of data. (No, I’m not kidding).

Its name: data discovery.

Data discovery is a bit like being struck by Cupid’s arrow

What is data discovery? It’s not about finding a whole load of precious data that is hidden away in a cave: data that could make you enormously rich. Though that can happen too.

Rather, data discovery is about taking a fresh look at information and then discovering something that someone else has overlooked or not considered: an unseen value.

This insight can strike you suddenly. Just like…well, just like Cupid’s arrow. And, like that arrow, it can bring enlightenment and joy.

Love shouldn’t be an effort, nor should understanding data

In the same way that you can flirt with someone but don’t end up marrying that person, when something catches your eye in a dataset, it should not mean you have to run off and get a qualification in data science, just to make sense of it.

Which is why Watson Analytics exists.

Find the beating heart of data

Watson Analytics , which was recently acclaimed by PC Mag, has been created for people who want to understand and act on data but don’t have the desire (there’s that old devil called love again!) or the time to skill up as data analysts.  

Data discovery in Watson Analytics works in two ways:

  1. By taking data – uploaded from a spreadsheet or pulled from a connected database – analyzing it, and then revealing (using its automated, cognitive functions) the most important relationships within that data.
  2. By allowing you to dig as deep as you want with just a few clicks of a mouse. You can effortlessly mine the data, exploring different, automatically generated findings.

data discovery spiral

A spiral visualization generated by Watson Analytics, demonstrating data discovery. In this case, the discovery is the factors behind the number of hours worked by US employees.

From romance to data insights

If you think I’m stretching the connection between love and data too far, then just consider the origins of “romantic love”.

The term “romantic” actually derives from European medieval literature, when brave knights would undertake quests, overcoming massive obstacles to prove their love for their beloved ladies.

Data discovery is also a quest: a quest for insight and knowledge.

Begin the adventure

Like love, data discovery is something that anyone can experience, no matter what their age, experience, or industry: marketing, finance, HR, health management, logistics…the list is truly endless.

To begin your quest into the world of data discovery, sign up for a trial of Watson Analytics.

Find the insights and feel the love.

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Benedikt Aug 17, 2017

What a great metaphor! If data discovery is a love affair, then reporting is a long and happy marriage 😉

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Forsyth Alexander Jul 25, 2017


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