Data + Science

Monday, July 1, 2019

‘Data never lies; people do.’

Data is an amusing artefact. It exists all around us, in many forms, and unless we know exactly how to read it, we are oblivious to it. It is no wonder that most professions are based in the ability to understand one specific type of data. We spend a quarter of our lives just learning about different types of data and figuring out which one we want to spend the rest of our lives around! What are skills if not the art of interpreting data? It is in this interpretation that lies are born from. Data doesn’t write stories, interpreters do. What comes from understanding the data is the hypotheses, observations, conclusions, drawn from the data. That is not what the data tells us; that is what the interpreter understands from the data, given their abilties.

Most of science once existed as hypotheses. These hypotheses were then proven by validating observations across different types of data points, explaining the intricacies of the data and hypothesizing exceptions. Science is beautiful because it is the truth, given a set of underlying constraints, assumptions and circumstances. The same gravity that doesn’t exist beyond our atmoshphere, is a defining trait of life on earth because we can observe, calculate and explain the data that we feel and observe, given the constraint of the earth’s gravity. All of science is rooted in data but data is not associated with a science.

Given my strong affinity to data and science both, in hindsight, it shouldn’t have been surprising that I ended up working as a data scientist :).