General

Data is Life

Hafsat Saliu Written by Hafsat Saliu · 1 min read >

You must have come across the phrase, ‘Data is life’ multiple times and you may have concluded that this post is about the trending Airtel ( telecommunications company in Nigeria) advertisement. Data in this advertisement refers to internet data- the one required by your computers or mobile devices in searching the web. However, the data I’m referring to in this post is raw facts or if you like, unprocessed information. From here on, please note that the later ‘data’ is the one I will be referring to.

Data is simply raw facts or unprocessed information. It can be sourced primarily or secondarily. Primary data is non-existent data that has to be generated, it can be generated from surveys, observations, experiments, and so on. Secondary data is data already in existence, examples include financial statements, bulletin reports and many more.

Contrary to assumptions that data is all about numbers, data can be quantitative ( whole numbers or fractions) or qualitative (non-numeric or categorical). Quantitative data are data on which arithmetic operations can be performed while qualitative data is that data on which arithmetic operations cannot be performed. This is not to say that qualitative data cannot be represented numerically. Take for instance, data showing a list of phone numbers, these numbers are not quantitative as you cannot decide to add up the numbers to get total phone numbers, neither can you take the average of these numbers.

Data gathered at a point in time is called cross-sectional data, an example of this is data on the total population of a country at a time while data gathered over a period is called time-series data, examples of this is the cash flow statement that shows the changes in the movement of cash over a period of time

Life is about making decisions and we get to make several decisions each day which is what  shapes us into who we are. For example, you had to make a decision to read this post, another example which is more passive is deciding to eat or choosing to eat rice and chicken from a variety of options. Sometimes, we are faced with the task of making decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives, decisions like ‘What course to study in college’, ‘Which business decision will lead to profit’ and so on.

In other times, you may be in a position to convince someone and you have to do this by presenting facts and as the saying goes,’ In God we trust, every other person should present data (evidence).

In order to make informed decisions, we have to rely on data. We live in times where technology has made data readily available, we have to ask the right questions in order to extract relevant information from noise

Next time you want to run away from data because you think you hate numbers, remember that you use data several times a day in making your decisions. To be able to make better-informed decisions especially when it is an important one, ask the right questions, gather relevant data and make informed decisions.

Man’s Freedom

Chinyere Monye in General
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