The Primacy of Data

When we create software we tend to think about features first and data second. We want to know what the software does and what it looks like, but for some reason we don't pay enough attention up front to the information underpinning the application. As the sheer volume of information available to us expands exponentially, this tack will be increasingly backwards. Not that features and interface won't matter at all, but we will have to reverse our approach. Instead of listing a set of functional requirements and building them around the data, we will need to look at the information first, and then decide what we want to do with it. Those firms that can find innovative ways to unveil the emergent properties of their data will have significant competitive advantage over those that can't.