The idea here is that we should use data as information, not as insight. Put another way, it’s not about the ingredients, it’s about the cook. Ingredients alone don’t make a meal (at least, not a good one). And even great recipes don’t come without a lot of experimentation and failed attempts by the people who create them. In the same way, the human part of the data pipeline is the most valuable part, and this is especially true for those of us in creative or innovative fields. For data to support truly creative or innovative outcomes, we must allow it to inform us of the facts so we can ask questions and experiment with the “adjacent possible” to discover the insights and potential that the raw data doesn’t provide. This is true for the following reasons:
See, data is meaningless only if we are expecting objective truth from it without factoring in our perceptions and assumptions and getting past those with our creativity. What I mean by creativity in this context is the process of asking questions and experimenting. Creativity allows us to take the data we have, question our starting assumptions about what the data is telling us, and experiment until we make something useful out of it. The title of this article is about not being data driven, with “driven” being the key word.