2 min read

Practice Guide for Data Work

I saw this mantra being adapted to fit different lines of work (music, newsletter-writing, etc.) today and really liked it, so I’ve adapted it for my own data-related work. I believe it originated with University of Miami Jazz Studies professor Ron Miller in 1991. My version isn’t exactly the same, but the main point rings true. Miller’s original version has more flowery language more suitable (in my opinion) to the music world.

That being said, you can definitely create “beauty” with data. I’m not sure if you can create “peace” or “love”, but you can certainly create the opposite if you have bad intentions.

No matter what you do it’s a good reminder to keep things in perspective, even if you usually find these sorts of affirmations to be corny. I think of myself as more of a Data Analyst than a Data Scientist, but many of these things might apply even more to the “Data Science” crowd since it is so en vogue at the moment.


Data Practice Guide

Adapted from Ron Miller, 1991

Before starting your daily practice routine, read and seriously consider the following:

A. DAILY AFFIRMATIONS

  1. How fortunate I am that in this life I am one who has been allowed to create beauty with data.
  2. It is my responsibility to create peace, beauty, and love with data.

B. I WILL BE KIND TO MYSELF

  1. IT IS ONLY DATA
  2. No matter the level of my development, how good or bad I think my skills are, it is only data and I am still a person.
  3. I will not compare myself with my colleagues, if they do good work I will enjoy it and be thankful and proud that I am a member of their team.
  4. There will always be someone with more data abilities than my own as there will be those with less.

C. REASONS TO WORK WITH DATA

  1. To contribute to understanding of the world.
  2. To contribute to my own self-discovery and growth.
  3. To pay homage to all great data analysts and scientists, past and present, who have added beauty to the world.

D. RID YOUR SELF OF THE FOLLOWING REASONS FOR BEING A DATA ANALYST/SCIENTIST

  1. to create self-esteem
  2. to be “hip”
  3. to manipulate
  4. to get rich or famous

Good stuff.

-Aaron