OPINION30 October 2023

Bethan Blakeley: Learning on the job

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Data analytics Innovations Opinion

The Impact columnist shares the excitement she feels when she gets to pick something from her shiny list.

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In 2019, I wrote about the data lake, and in between my usual rants about unnecessary jargon (I hate the term ‘data lake’), I gave some advice on how to navigate big datasets. One of those pieces of advice was to ‘paddle with a purpose’ – that is, know what you’re doing and what
your objectives are, and stay true to them.

Now, I’m not a big fan of contradicting myself, and I will argue that what I’m about to say here isn’t contradictory, but I can see why some people might think that. Bear with me. What I’m talking about here is the importance of not knowing what you’re doing; how much you can learn from being lost and, arguably, a bit overwhelmed if you just allow yourself to lean into it.

I’m still not talking about blindly poking about in a dataset, hoping something interesting will catch your eye. I’m not talking about ...