We collect data all the time. Even if you aren't engaged with "all things data" professionally--opting out at a personal level is at your own risk.
Dear Data by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec with a forward by Maria Popova (Brain Pickings) is an entertaining and visually stunning reminder of the pervasive nature of the data we generate--and collect.
Quite often we need to ease into topics many of us view as daunting. Perhaps all of the attention to big data, small data, and the right data, has you feeling the "butterfly effect" aka Chaos Theory--start your data journey here-- a diary of data generated during a year of correspondence.
Stepping outside of your comfort zone or area of expertise reminds me of an Ellsworth Kelly quote--
"You must not copy nature. You must let nature instruct you and then let the eye and the hand collaborate."
Let me explain how I apply this to my daily practice. If you read books, listen to podcasts (perhaps), or gather varied interests organically and continually--the eye and hand will collaborate, fueled from your experiences.
This came to mind when I recently toured an exhibit of Matisse drawings curated by Ellsworth Kelly. A few of Kelly's botanical prints were also on display --- stark and simple but elegant in their design.
This is Tangerine (Mandarine) from a suite of plant lithographs. You have held tangerines and tasted them at the height of flavor. When you view the print can you immediately "see" the dimpled surface and exact shade of orange? No need to copy nature--your eye and hand can collaborate to tell the story.
You work out in the gym or run on occassion but if you want to flex your storytelling muscles look no farther than Roman Mars and 99% Invisible. The ability to plait topics as varied as architecture, technology, and history into a narrative can be mesmerizing. The quote below opens the podcast "On Average". We learn about averages and what they mean today (pardon the pun). Originally intended to be the high standard we all strived and hoped to reach--an ideal as it were.
In many ways, the built world was not designed for you. It was designed for the average person. Standardized tests, building codes, insurance rates, clothing sizes, The Dow Jones - all these measurements are based around the concept of an "average"--Roman Mars
Listen to the podcast and follow the story of Quetelet and how the intersection of astronomy and mathematics pioneered a society based on the mathematical average.
Thoughtful discussions about content development and outcomes analytics that apply the principles and frameworks of health policy and economics to persistent and perplexing health and health care problems...
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In a world of "evidence-based" medicine I am a bigger fan of practice-based evidence.
Remember the quote by Upton Sinclair...
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”