Data Is Everywhere

This data was originally featured in the May 29th, 2024 newsletter found here: INBOX INSIGHTS, MAY 29, 2024: DO CUSTOMERS WANT AI, DATA IS EVERYWHERE

In this week’s Data Diaries, let’s revisit an important reminder that resurfaced during my travels this month.

What is data? The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis.”

To be clear, data is more than just numbers. It’s anything that can be used for reference and analysis.

That pile of sticky notes on your CEO’s desk? Disorderly though it may be, that’s data. The whiteboard in the conference room filled with scrawled annotations and arrows everywhere? That’s data. The YouTube video you just watched? That’s data too.

In the era of generative AI and large multimodal models, everything and anything is data. At the recent workshop I did in Los Angeles, I pointed my phone at a street in the city and asked GPT-4-Omni to identify the major architectural styles. It did so quite capably, and returned a summarized pile of data about the neighborhood:

GPT-4 Results

If you were an architect or an engineer building in this neighborhood, it’d be helpful to send someone to the neighborhood and perform this analysis to know what kinds of designs might go well with the remainder of the block.

Photos. Video. Audio. Text. Wherever you are, whatever devices you have, you’re surrounded by data, and with today’s AI models, much of it is usable in some way. Depending on your purpose, you probably have all the data you need – if you recognize that the data is sitting in front of you, like these client notes from 2016:

Handwriting transcription

That pile of notes you took at that event a while back? Feed it to a multimodal model and ask it to recognize and transcribe your handwriting. Data that was locked away is suddenly available to you again.

You likely have all the data you need. You just need to remember that you have it, and unlock it with the power of AI.

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