Contextualizing Quality: A Journey from Data to Personal Assessment

Hadi Fadlallah
Tech Blog
Published in
4 min readJan 10, 2024

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Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

My doctoral research delved into ‘Context-Aware Big Data Quality Assessment’. In essence, it uncovered the profound impact of context on data quality, emphasizing that each piece of data carries its unique context shaped by a myriad of factors such as schema, type, format, size, organizational policies, and the scope of analysis. Notably, assessing data quality isn’t a uniform process; it varies significantly depending on the specific context in which the data operates.

For instance, consider a dataset containing customer information. In an e-commerce platform, the accuracy of personal details, purchase history, and payment information might be crucial for smooth transactions. However, if the same dataset is utilized for market research, the emphasis might shift toward the completeness of demographic data and the relevance of customer preferences. The same data, although inherently valuable, is subject to diverse quality criteria based on the distinct contexts of its usage. This understanding forms the foundation for a paradigm shift from conventional data quality considerations to a more nuanced and adaptive approach.

Achieving context awareness is a very challenging task, and it is still an ongoing research field, as this task is essential for accurate quality assessment.

As the acronym ‘Ph.D.,’ standing for Doctor of Philosophy, inherently suggests the necessity to approach the subject matter from a philosophical point of view, it led me to think deeply about context awareness beyond data quality.

In the rest of this article, I will briefly discuss how context awareness can be applied in different life sectors such as education, religion, and others.

Context Awareness in an Academic Context

Moving beyond the realm of data, context awareness proves indispensable in an educational setting. As a lecturer, I firmly assert that relying solely on grades for student evaluation falls short. Each student brings a unique context shaped by personal, socio-economic, and cultural factors.

Traditional grading, in its one-size-fits-all approach, neglects the diverse experiences and challenges students encounter. A student’s performance extends beyond the comprehension of course material; it is tightly tied to their circumstances, learning styles, and external obstacles. Consider two students scoring equally on a test. When we account for their different contexts — one grappling with additional responsibilities or financial constraints, while the other benefits from a supportive environment — their achievements take on new significance.

Hence, there is a need to adopt a more comprehensive evaluation approach that considers the context awareness principle.

Context Awareness in a Religious Context

Extending this perspective to a religious context, the concept of context-awareness underscores our human limitations in assessing others. In this view, only God possesses complete knowledge of an individual’s life, enabling a truly context-aware evaluation. Human judgments, tainted by limited knowledge, biases, and an inability to understand others’ complexities, are deemed inherently flawed. Thus, making absolute judgments about the quality or ultimate fate of others is discouraged. The task of accurate assessments is reserved for the Divine, who alone holds complete understanding.

In practical terms, this perspective calls for humility, compassion, and refraining from passing final judgments on whether someone is bound for heaven or hell simply for having different opinions or beliefs. The focus is on acknowledging our limited understanding and leaving ultimate judgments to the wisdom of the Divine, as He said in the holy Quran:

“Indeed, to Us is their return (25) Then indeed, upon Us is their account (26) [Al-Ghāshiyah]

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

Beyond Education and Religion

Context awareness extends beyond educational and religious contexts; It is a guiding principle that should be applied in all aspects of life. Whether navigating personal relationships, making decisions in a company, or dealing with diverse points of view…

First, our mind must recognize the characteristics based on which context is defined, and then the unique contexts that shape individuals and situations must be recognized and appreciated. It is important to recognize that this comprehensive approach fosters understanding, empathy, and adaptability. It promotes more nuanced and informed interactions… However, this depends on the ability to detect the characteristics of a given context.

Embracing context awareness in our daily lives allows us to navigate the complexities of a dynamic world, fostering a deeper appreciation for the richness that diverse contexts bring to our collective human experience.

Final thoughts…

In conclusion, the journey from context-aware data quality to context-aware personal quality is a deep exploration of the various twists that shape our understanding in different areas.

Embracing context awareness demands reevaluating our perspectives, emphasizing the adaptability needed in data analysis, education, and even matters of faith. As we navigate these diverse contexts, acknowledging our limitations becomes paramount. Whether it’s the nuances of data, the complexities of student experiences, or the divine wisdom that surpasses human judgment, context awareness invites us to appreciate the richness of individual contexts, fostering empathy, adaptability, and a profound acknowledgment of the limits of our understanding.

What I have written is not a call to accept or refrain from objecting to harmful actions toward others. Instead, it is a call not to be so quick to judge others simply because they differ from us in beliefs or opinions.

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Hadi Fadlallah
Tech Blog

I write about data engineering, data management, SQL, and anything related to data. https://thedataengineer.blog