Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Reality is Required

If you have spent any time working on IT projects you will have heard the statement, "The solution is only as good as the data." It's true.  If you lack enough good data to generate an accurate output, stop and find it before moving forward.  I remember having so many good ideas for process improvement when I worked in IT.  Almost all of them, however, were shut down with the words, “We don’t have good data for that.”

Truth is important.  If your data does not reflect reality – digital solutions won’t work.  Many technology projects fail when they move from the whiteboard to reality because they were designed on a notional view of the world, rather than on the state of things as they actually exist.  

Understanding what reality is can often be helped by developing a digital twin.  A digital twin is created by integrating sensors into a thing or series of things for the purpose of capturing enough good data to clearly depict reality.  Sensor-supported digital twins fill in the blind spots. Where previously we operated on conjecture and false assumptions, we can now operate with an improved view of reality.  

Reality, however, is more than data.  Sixty-degrees is a good hiking temperature if it is measured in Fahrenheit, but it would kill you if the results were measured in Celsius. A 500% increase in your annual sales sounds impressive, unless you started with 25 cents. Data that reflects reality must also include context. 

Kevin Benedict
Partner | Futurist | Leadership Strategies at TCS
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.