Don’t be frightened of data

data pulse # 33

We should not be frightened to use data: People have been recording data and creating information for thousands of years.

Data use is older than the written word and has been used through history to provide information:

75,000BC the Blombos Ocher Plaque is thought to be the first recorded piece of data.

Blombos Ocher

In 850AD Al-Kindi examined the frequency of letters in text to systematically create and crack coded messages.

Al-Kindi

In 1662 John Gaunt analysed mortality figure (in an early excel spreadsheet) as a means to predict the onset and spread of bubonic plague.

John Graunt excel

In 1855 Florence Nightingale used advanced visualisation techniques to make her data more persuasive for the generals and convince them that more soldiers were dying in the hospitals of the Crimea than on the battlefield, and so allow her to use her lamp.

Florence Nightingale

In the 21st Century there is more data and even more being created every day but the same simple principles apply.

Be clear on your outcome and then decide what data you need to tell the story you want to tell.

Anyone can use data, not just the analysts and data scientists. You just need to give them the confidence , skills and tools to do so.

Author: Andrew Mann

Managing Partner at NorthBailey. Having had senior marketing & insight roles at Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Coop and M&S, I'm now using my experience & network to solve strategic marketing problems for NorthBailey clients

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