The God of Data Analysis was a mighty being. Sat on Mount Numerous, he knew that he was in control. His creed had spread, and his supremacy confirmed. The world saw the power of data, and saw that it was good. The more data you had, the bigger the numbers you dealt with, the more complicated the algorithms – the better you were. Soon everyone was worshipping at the altar of Big Data.
Sometimes these people annoyed the God of Data Analysis (or GDA0101) as he became known. Occasionally they had a spark of things unable to be categorised or quantified. Neither he or his network of data seraphs could process these strange glitches in the machines. They were called ‘emotions’ or sometimes ‘feelings.’ They were baffling and a nuisance.
As time went by GDA0101 noticed that his view from Mount Numerous was not the same as before. The colour had drained. His citizens were becoming slower. Sometimes they behaved in erratic ways that did not fit his carefully honed model. The projections derived from the tracking systems did not always prove correct.
He called on his data seraphs. ‘Tell me what is happening!’ he commanded. ‘And what to do about it! I need to know what causes these people to behave so out of accordance with how the data indicates that they should.’
The Spreadsheet Seraph crunched her numbers and created graphs, but came up with no answers.
The Spirit of Loyalty Cards swooped in to track and monitor and profile. She could tell GDA0101 what was happening, but could not explain why.
The Econometrics Angel modelled and profiled and projected, and produced numerous theories as to what the citizens should be doing – but nothing to help explain why they sometimes didn’t.
Finally, the Cherub of Connection floated along. He was a little bit scared. He knew that his idea would appear radical. ‘How about…’ he ventured, ‘we talk to your people.’
‘Wonderful idea!’ boomed GDA0101. ‘We have some great software for just this.’
‘No, I mean, with words.’
‘Yes, like a conversation. We could ask them why they do the things they do. Understand the people better.’
GDA0101 was not convinced. What could talking tell him that data couldn’t? How could the word ‘why’ – only three letters long – help him out when he already knew what, where, when and how.
But he was desperate. He granted the Cherub of Connection permission to go out and try his method. as laughable as it seemed.
The Cherub of Connection was gone quite a long time. GDA0101 was monitoring. Conversation was a lengthy process. And not always predictable. Some people had a lot to say, others very little. Some citizens found it easy to talk about their feelings, and others hated it. Some knew why, others had never considered it before. Words were messier than numbers, that was for sure.
Finally, the Cherub of Connection returned. He sat down and spoke of emotions and feelings and passions and motivations. Why proved to be powerful. Words seemed to show something that the numbers didn’t. They weren’t perfect on their own, but when thrown into the mix with when, where, how, what, data, digits, analysis and monitoring, why and words proved to be the missing ingredient. The magic spark.
There was a fizzle, and a crackle. The colour came back. The people smiled. They didn’t always smile as planned and projected of course, but that was ok. GDA0101 understood a little better. The God of Analysis he called himself now. Some data, some discussion.
The world was good again.
If you want to know more about how I can help you wade through the mud and tell clear and compelling stories about your brand and business, get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or here. I’m a content writer, marketer and communications consultant – and have had plenty of experience with data!