What is Data? | Data & Me

Predictive. Productive. Personal. Data can be many things.

When we take the time to understand and embrace data, we unlock our own potential. But what, exactly, is data? And how does it affect you and me? This is what our new video series, Data & Me, is exploring. Watch our introductory episode, What is Data?, above to find out what people like yourself think about data’s application in our world.

Understanding Data’s Magnitude

Understanding data is no small task. It has become increasingly pervasive in our world. But are we all aware just how much it permeates our everyday lives? Do we truly understand the value it brings, when and how it’s being applied?

As a data infrastructure company, we at Western Digital were very curious what the public, in general, thinks about data. So, we took to the streets to find out.

What do Everyday People Think About Data?

We interviewed almost one hundred people on a range of topics including:

  • health data
  • DNA
  • innovation and design
  • data collection
  • recommendation engines and targeting
  • data privacy

What we found is that in general, people are pretty data-savvy. They understand that those little devices we call smartphones are collecting a lot of information. And that it can help them accomplish the activities they want to do every day.

Many people even acknowledged that using most apps and services does require giving up your data in exchange, and they accepted that tradeoff because it allowed for convenience and other benefits.

What are Data’s Benefits?

When we dug into areas where big data can benefit us personally, like healthcare, things got a little fuzzy.

That’s why we’re developing each Data & Me episode to focus on a specific area where data is either already affecting you or is going to affect you in the near future.

The truth is, when you understand the data, you can make smarter decisions about what’s collected and how to wield it.

We hope you find each episode illuminating and want to hear what you think about it in the comments. Here’s an easy one (or is it?) to start with …

Comment below: What does the word data mean to you? 
Data & Me: Exploring data's impact on our everyday livesdata makes possible weekly highlights subscription