Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Adolescent Sex

If you do the Twitter thing, follow me at @hotpixUK
or LinkedIn here
Thank you to one of my Twitter followers last week at the Housing Technology Conference for providing a perfect definition of ‘Big Data’. Have you ever considered that its actually more like ‘Adolescent Sex’ and it was confirmed to me with a roomful of housing system bods down at the Oxford Belfry.

I asked, in a session with CIH visionary Barry Marlow, who here is using ‘Big Data’ as all we seem to hear these days is that it’s our saviour. Barry too has been sucked in to the big data hype. Not one of about 45 people raised their hands. My response was “Actually Barry, what we have proved here is that housing has not yet actually got to grips with ‘Small Data’. In fact we are still drowning under thousands of spreadsheets, carefully groomed and maintained by our staff in silos.

How confident are you of how many spreadsheets can be found in your shared drives & user areas? A few dozen, few hundred, few thousand, tens of thousands? Paddy Power give me poor odds on it, but I would wager towards the latter. So did the attendees in our session.

My twin sister from another mother @NasrinFazal, crystallised it by the following graphic:

Dan Ariely:
Big data is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, so everyone claims they are doing it ...

Now, you could say that big data is in fact lots of collections of small data. Our problem is that we have on the whole been pretty pants, at actually using the expensive systems we spend £hundreds of thousands on, in creating joined up data of use to us.

If you are feeling smug, try asking the question, “How many properties have we got and of what bedroom sizes & types”? If you need to consult more than one system or application and you cannot reconcile to a single figure, you are probably not “practising safe data” are you?

Related Post: Why does our Workflow not make everyones housing work, flow then?


You can link with me on LinkedIn here - It would be great to connect !

Japan - Adolescent SexJapan - Adolescent Sex.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting 07854-655009

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