Start By Counting

If you want to begin a big data journey, you just need to start counting something. If you’re going to be able to run statistical analysis on something, start counting.

We have all heard Peter Drucker’s saying, “What gets measured gets managed.” The first step to measuring anything is to start counting it.

If you want to lose weight, you will be effective if you start counting calories. If you’re going to manage your time better: count the number of hours you spend on certain types of tasks or projects.

Counting As A Discipline

Counting is a discipline, which is why we often forget to do it. At the very least, we overlook the power of counting something. Even though it seems like a very simple directive, counting isn’t as easy as it sounds. Many people start well but forget to maintain the urgency and focus of counting all of the time.

It’s ok if you only are tabulating results for part of the time, but you must be disciplined about what results you are tabulating. You must be able to extrapolate additional results. At the very least, you must be able to compare apples to apples. Reporting that you spent some time on Project A and a different amount on Project B only helps if you haven’t been haphazard in your measurements.

Start Counting

You can be a data scientist. Start gathering data. The most straightforward place to start is by counting something important to you.