In my previous post, I explained that the journey from factual data to actionable knowledge travels the winding road of contextual information, and how, within the story we tell about that journey, fact and fiction intermingle, and the line between them blurs.
We could imagine a real-world event as an action that dies at the moment of its energy, and the data describing the real-world event is a base concession to fact (if we assume that the data accurately describes the real-world event).
But data in the wild is tamed when it enters the business world. And the business world is made by the singer, the person or process contextualizing data into information, into a song about the data. As Wilde said, that song is sung for the dreamer, which in a business context, is the end user putting information to use for a particular business activity, such as making a critical business decision.
In his poem The Idea of Order at Key West, Wallace Stevens provides an example of how singing the song of information re-imagines the wild world of data, creating the dream of order amongst its chaos:
It was her voice that madeThe sky acutest at its vanishing.She measured to the hour its solitude.She was the single artificer of the worldIn which she sang. And when she sang, the sea,Whatever self it had, became the selfThat was her song, for she was the maker. Then we,As we beheld her striding there alone,Knew that there never was a world for herExcept the one she sang and, singing, made.
Data is where the wild things of the real world are, but there never was, and never will be, a business world for us except the one we sing about our data and, by singing our information songs, make.
What data dreams do your information songs sing about your business world?