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Wednesday, October 2 • 1:10pm - 1:20pm
Lightning Talk: Oh no, I'm running a data driven cult.

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Data is important but increasingly misunderstood. Over the past few years we've seen the cult of data move out of the dark sub-basements of IT, the nausea inducing confusion of ad-tech or the white starched cubicles of finance into the more airy suites of marketing, sales and human resources. This shift has been fast, sudden and unexpected to most. Like the shift from early scientific exploration through alchemy to our modern scientific method the actual act of data interpretation has been clouded with a mix of absolute faith by its practitioners and fear from those it threatens.

The problem is that the current masters of the dark arts frequently provide guidance that may have a core of truth, but can be applied in ways that will, at a minimum, make your hair fall out and, in the worst case, guide you down a disastrous path. We've seen the birth of data driven cults.

But data does open tremendous new opportunities for business to create new value and streamline existing operations. To do so, however, we need to migrate from looking at data to actually understanding the information produced. We need to stop trying to turn lead into gold, and start trying to discover oxygen.

How do we get there? Data without meaning, context, or evaluation is just, well data - not information. Data must first exist, have structure, depth and most importantly meet objectives and KPIs to drive value into an organization. We need to understand the limits of our current systems. It's tempting to always look for patterns and causality, but sometimes they simply don't exist, no matter how much we will it. Data is not pure. The common concept of n=all is a fallacy built on belief that everything can be measured. Understanding these key aspects of running a data-driven business will help you get out of the dark shadows and outside the ritual of big data. We can move away from the data driven cult of information paralyses and create information systems that are pragmatic, scientific and ultimately drivers of creativity and innovation.

Speakers
avatar for Leala Abbott

Leala Abbott

Senior Content Strategist, Huge Inc.
Leala Abbott is a Senior Content Strategist at Huge, helping to shape, define and interpret metadata and taxonomical needs into content structures everyday. Before joining Huge, Leala worked as a Senior Digital Content Analyst at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where her responsibilities included information retrieval strategy, content acquisition, and technology education. Leala prides herself on a practical approach and clear communication... Read More →


Wednesday October 2, 2013 1:10pm - 1:20pm
Fort Mason Center 2 Marina Blvd San Francisco, CA 94123