Daily decisions based on data: data-driven life

Daily decisions based on data: data-driven lifeOne of the most fascinating consequences of hyperconnectivity is that network users are taking more and more decisions based on data, although the process is hidden by such friendly interfaces that it ends up being completely natural.

Jose Luis OrihuelaBlockedUnblockFollowFollowingJan 4Photo: Franki ChamakiThe algorithms of search engines and social platforms that we use on a daily basis feed on our data and return aggregated, processed and refined data in such a way that we no longer see them as data.

From the search engine that corrects our syntax and selects ten results among a hundred million, up to the contents that appear in the timeline of our favorite social networks as if by magic, everything is based on data that help us to make everyday decisions.

The music, movies, series, and books suggested by the recommendation algorithms of the specialized portals, as well as the hotels and restaurants proposed by the virtual travel guides, are fed not only from our history and social graph but also the intelligence of data of thousands or millions of users.

It is the ability to collect, aggregate and refine data in a massive way, which gives value to the “social” services that networks and smartphones bring us permanently.

On that data, we are making decisions every day for what our life, according to the New York Times magazine, has become “The Data-Driven Life”.

Although in corporate environments it is already common to talk about management, decision-making, and data-driven marketing, we still do not quite assume that personal decision-making processes are also increasingly conditioned and enriched by data, even when we “talk” with a smart speaker.

As the Internet of things extends to everyday devices such as smartwatches and physical activity trackers, the personal metrics of each user enter a scale of massive data whose processing and visualization guide the decision making on aspects such as sleep hours, calorie consumption, weight control, heart rate and distances to cover.

The statistics that surround all our activity in social networks, sometimes to obsessive extremes, are also data on which we make decisions.

We have learned from likes, what photos work best, what filters and keywords to use and what time to publish them …Although we will continue to make personal decisions based on experience, reasoning, and emotions, it is good to recognize that data (camouflaged under friendly interfaces) is already part of the way in which technology has impelled us to relate to our environment.

If learning to read and write through hypertext links was the literacy required to live in the world created by the Web, learning to read, visualize and interpret data will be the necessary skills to live in a hyperconnected world.

Spanish version: Decisiones cotidianas basadas en datos: data-driven life.

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