The Roots of Datamology
I apologize for the mix of Latin and Greek, but it is in the spirit
of these learned traditions that I use the term datamology to describe
the study of information. The Greek word logos, which is the root
of the English word logic, means study. The Latin word datum,
which is the root of the English word data, at least in its most common
usage, means information.
Literally, however, datum means gift or present.
I think of datamology as a methodology for the systematic and careful
acquisition of these gifts. This is the critical activity between
the collection of data and the publication of results based on that data.
The gifts which are acquired through datamology are knowledge.
It is this knowledge that can then be shared with others directly
or published in a more general manner.
There is an interesting rhetorical debate as to whether knowledge
is discovered or made. The computing industry, perhaps reflecting
a common perspective of the scientific community, tends to talk
of knowledge discovery. Others, especially in academia, tend to speak
of knowledge making. I choose not to take sides in this debate
and officially use the more non-committal perspective that knowledge
is simply acquired. However, for consistency with the industry and
to play along with the exploratory analogy, I occasionally speak of
the goal of any exploration.
So, in the end, I believe that it is in the true study (analysis)
of information (data) that one acquires knowledge.
My target audience, therefore, is comprised of those people who are
serious about the analysis of their data. I think of such a person
as a datamologist, though you might use the term researcher or data analyst.
This person is one for whom answers are not immediately obvious or available,
but is willing to take the time to analyze the data to obtain those answers.
This is a person who has expertise in a particular field of study
(though not in computing or mathematics) and undertakes data analysis
to acquire knowledge.
My first software offering through The Datamology Company was VisiCube,
a tool to assist the datamologist in the activity of data analysis.
Specifically, it is a tool with which
you can explore your data universe to find pertinent parts of that universe
and build accurate and intuitive visual models to represent those parts.
By doing so, VisiCube assists you in analyzing the phenomena represented
by that data.
VisiCube is no longer supported:
for a more advanced version of the same product!