The Use of Data in Business

I might as well say upfront, that I hate business – it has been the curse of my life. And, I am convinced, the curse of many other lives as well.  Its main objective is war and plunder. It has, in short, destroyed the world.

Now that I have gotten that off my chest, I will move on to the use of data in business. And the attitude here is also simple – data is another resource to be exploited. Gold to be mined.

Forgotten in all this are people, and their needs – especially their social needs. Their need to work together, constructively.

You can scoff at this soft-hearted attitude – and say it is nonsense – to get ahead, you have to get ahead of other people. And take what they have. And do it as fast as you can – before they get your goodies.

What are these goodies we are so worried about? Why are Americans so worried about the Taliban in Afghanistan? They will simply say they are the enemy – and have to be destroyed.

How are they the enemy? The answer to this takes us immediately into religious territory. Where titanic struggles are waged between Heaven and Earth. And where people participate in this struggle.

Once you see things this way – it is clear why we have to win the war in Afghanistan. Those sneaky devils are on the other side!

But I started to speak of the use of data in business. And then had to put this into its larger context – the War between Good and Evil!

Let me return to more mundane matters – the balance sheets of companies. Good and evil on a much smaller scale – but just as serious – this is where companies live and die. And where people are forgotten.

This is double-entry bookkeeping – an important discovery of the Modern World. This is where data is put in its proper place – on one side or the other. And where something else is assumed – that everything could be expressed in terms of money!

We can now make another statement – data is money. But this brings up a problem – there are vast amounts of data, and more all the time. How to find the money? In Data Science, this is called Data Mining. Most data is useless, your job is to sort through it, and find the good stuff.

To do this, you gotta be smart. You don’t have to be super-smart, but you have to come out of your shell, walk around, and tell the difference between night and day.


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