What big data is missing is behavior change. Yep, good old fashioned behavior change.
I’m struck by the amount of data that companies like Google and SAP kind churn out. Even our friends at Facebook do a good job at this, though I question if it’s worth $19 billion. All of these entities, and more, are producing and analyzing data that can lead to disruptive innovation. A good thing all in all. Our world is changing rapidly because of this.
So why are we such a mess, when we have all of the data for just about anything under the sun?
Let me give you an example of what I mean. There’s tons of data confirming the dangers of distracted driving. Has there been a shift away from this type of behavior? According to the CDC, we have a problem. Do you find it ironic that we enough data to make an educated decision to not text (as one example) while driving, yet continue to do it? How about the amount of sleep we get, and don’t get. Dr. Qanta Ahmed, a sleep disorder specialist, at Winthrop University Sleep Disorders Center in New York City, suggests that Americans suffer from “sleep machismo.” Wall Street’s calling and we have to answer, be damn our mind and bodies.
So what do you do with this?
- Make a decision and then manage it. John Maxwell is famous for advocating. A heart attack crystalized his understanding here
- Be humble. Don’t think bad stuff only happens to the other guy or gal. It can and will happen to you. Arrogance is such an ugly thing
- Have a healthy suspicion of data, research, etc. Do your homework and be fearless
- Understand what’s important to you. My wife is second in my life, so if big data says communicating my feelings will strengthen our relationship, I’m going to do it
- Life over the sun is where you need to be. People living there rarely take things for granted and are in the moment
I hope we don’t come to a crossroads where history stands laughing because we were not able to connect the dots between understanding and action. In some ways it appears we’ve already started down that road.