There has been plenty of talk recently about the ways in which data is affecting the economy. This is with good reason, as the ways in which organizations conduct business has been drastically changed by the recent increase in data availability. However, lost in this focus is the impact that data is having on many other facets of modern daily life. To dive into this topic, we looked to work conducted by Jonathan Cornelissen, a founder of a leading data education startup. Through a look at his work, along with an overview of modern data usage, you will be able to gain a better idea of how the field affects many of your daily actions.
For a sense of his credentials, let’s first take a brief look at the professional history of Jonathan Cornelissen. The tech entrepreneur first thought up the idea for his data startup while pursuing his Ph.D. At that time, he already had a sense of how data was poised to change the world and he was taking steps to tailor his education in that direction. To do so, he began learning the R programming language, popular for its usability in data science applications. When he found the language challenging to learn through his formal studies, he looked for additional resources to aid in his education using his analytical skills to the best of his abilities. To his surprise, there was a notable lack of independent platforms offering engaging educational content geared towards the field of data science.
To address this shortfall, he founded his startup along with a small group of his peers. The idea behind it was that it could not only help people at formal educational institutions, but also those who were already in the workplace. The endeavor turned out to be a success, first while working alongside formal academic partners and later after taking the platform more widely to market. It has since become one of the most popular data resources online and has helped educate over four million learners in the field of data science.
Data at home
As the startup founder foresaw when he created his company years ago, data has become an increasingly more important part of daily existence, a fact that is perhaps seen most easily through the way it affects life at home. One of the key issues affecting modern home life is the access a particular household has to goods and services. For instance, an individual living in a more rural area might have to drive quite far to access their nearest supermarket, whereas a suburban resident might have a plethora of options within close proximity. This type of consideration can have a compounding effect on the quality of daily life, sometimes even making an impact on how much access one has to healthy food choices.
While it might not seem immediately obvious to those outside the field, this aspect of modern life is heavily tied into the field of data science. The reason for this lies partly in the manner in which companies make decisions about where to operate retail locations. One factor that weighs heavily in this regard is the demographic makeup of a given area. Data analysis of these demographics allows companies to predict where their products might be best received and where they stand to make the most profit. Business choices made as a result of this type of data analysis can trickle down to the community scale in the form of decisions about where to place supermarkets, affecting individuals in the manner detailed above.
Education and data
Demographic data can also have a large impact on the quality of education available to residents of different areas. This data, often pulled from census information, can help governments ascertain population levels, income disparities, age ranges for residents, and more. Governments will often use this information to make choices about funding, teacher to student ratios, school upgrades, and other criteria that directly affect the educational process. As a result of these decisions, educational effectiveness may vary from school to school.
The tech entrepreneur has long discussed the importance of using data to improve the educational process. Having played a role in the formal educational system before transitioning to his efforts in his educational startup, he has a unique view on the ways in which the state of education can be improved on the whole. By harnessing the power of data and the ingenuity of the entrepreneurial spirit, he has been able to bridge gaps in a system that does not always adequately meet the needs of students in his field. His work, though often focused on data science, is widely applicable to educational efforts on a larger scale.
Another area in which data plays a key role is in the field of healthcare. This can be seen in many different aspects of the field, but one area that is especially relevant to daily life is the way in which data affects health insurance. This manifests through the ways in which insurance companies determine premiums and other aspects of their offerings. Though this process can vary between companies, all insurance companies use data as a primary means of serving clients and staying economically viable.
Data is also used by hospitals to better serve the patients who pass through their doors. This data can be as simple as exit surveys which allow them to analyze quality of care, or it can delve into more complex areas of disease analysis to innovate new ways to treat illnesses. No matter the specific method, it is again evident that data plays a huge role in this area of life which is vitally important to the wellbeing of individuals in the modern world.
While it is true that data has helped to revolutionize the workplace in recent history and has changed much about how companies are run, it is also important to note the ways in which the field of data science is changing our everyday lives. From the above overview, we can see that this is apparent in many different foundational parts of life, such as healthcare, education, nutrition, and more. Coupled with information on the work of Jonathan Cornelissen, this analysis should provide a helpful jumping-off point for those interested in the effect data has on life in present-day society.