A year of work in progress – day 192

Day 192 – 7 November 2014

Finally it feels like winter. Yesterday was cold and sharp while this morning it was bucketing down. I like the warmth but the weather lately has been wrong. Normality is prevailing.

I made my way down again to EDC for a Digital Durham demand stimulation meeting. This time I decided to avoid trying to avoid the traffic and arrived twenty minutes earlier than I did yesterday. By the way we have been shortlisted for the Great Staff, Great Stuff awards so we need to dust down our glad rags.

The stimulation activity seems to be having a positive effect but it is very time and labour intensive. Our percentage take up is creeping up yet it’s a difficult number to keep on top of. Every month several thousand premises are becoming eligible and so, in effect, you have to work hard to stand still. The team are working very hard and the new initiatives are definitely working. We have some cabinets with really high take up and some with none at all. We just need to learn from what works elsewhere, keep trying new things and get as much resource into this as possible.

Steve and I had a couple more Big Data meetings, one with a mobile provider and the other with a big integrator.                 When we use the word Big in this context it doesn’t relate to size or quantity. A large amount of data does not in itself become big. Instead it relates to the size of the opportunity. Big Data means big opportunity and big fun. I think the expression came originally from the oil industry.

This exercise is turning out to be one of the most interesting things that I have ever been involved in. I think Steve feels the same. The ability to ‘see’ inside large data sets is fascinating. There are logical patterns such as people going places and doing things but there will also be creative patterns.

I remember when I was at Thinking Digital 13 we had a very interesting presentation from Nathalie Miebach, a Boston based artist who translates weather and climate change data from cities into musical scores, which she then translates into vibrant, whimsical sculptures and uses them as the basis for collaboration with musicians across a wide spectrum of styles and genres. I stole that bit from a website. What she was doing (and still is) is way beyond my ability to understand but it was truly inspiring. People see things in very different ways and people will see strange and interesting things in data, especially if they have an emotional connection to it.

I want to go to Master Data World.

After a late lunch we had another accommodation steering group. I’m not clear why these are always on a Friday afternoon.

This week has whipped past.

Learning points for today: you can walk in real time; data in motion is even better than static data; in the world of WiFi it is all about the MAC address; bad data can lead to a desire to prepare good data and; you’ve got to start at home.

Today’s enjoyment rating 9/10 – Big Interest, Big Fun.

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