It’s the question that drives us.
I know why you’re here, Neo. I know what you’ve been doing. I know why you hardly sleep, why you live alone, and why night after night, you sit at your computer. You’re looking for him. I know, because I was once looking for the same thing. And when he found me, he told me I wasn’t really looking for him. I was looking for an answer. It’s the question that drives us, Neo. It’s the question that brought you here. You know the question, just as I did.
— Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity, The Matrix, 1999
Welcome to the latest edition of our new series of micro-interviews, in which we ask a fascinating data person a single question about modern data teamwork.
If you’re not a fan of action movies like me, you might not have drawn the line between Neo’s search for truth in The Matrix and your own organization’s search for answers in your data.
In this micro-interview, we asked Ken Gross, Chief Data Scientist at The Chartis Group, about his perspective on data sharing. When Ken gave me his answer, the connection between The Matrix and data sharing became crystal clear to me.
Here’s what we asked him.
What are some things data professionals get wrong about distributing data to less technical stakeholders?
All analytics look to answer a specific question or a set of questions. When distributing analytic results to less technical stakeholders, data professionals often fail to clearly articulate the question(s) that guided the analysis. Analytic professionals should introduce their results with a clear articulation of the specific questions being explored.
Analytic work is also iterative, the first set of questions can lead to new or more refined questions. When presenting results, analytic professionals should encourage stakeholders to combine the results they are reviewing with their content knowledge or expertise in order to make the analytic iteration process a collaborative one.
As you set out to ask or answer your next data question, remember Trinity’s words to Neo in the first (*cough* best *cough*) Matrix movie…
The answer is out there, Neo. It’s looking for you. And it will find you if you want it to. — Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity, The Matrix, 1999