Greater Purpose


I’ve talked repeatedly about planning ahead and the importance of having a perfect data transfer for your data to tell the complete truth. Here is a real life example of this philosophy in action. Several months ago, I stumbled across this video about a new tradition at the University of Iowa’s home football games. Take a moment to watch it, and feel free to cry. I certainly did.

Studies have shown the effect of positive thinking on one’s health – it’s something Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and the National Institutes of Health all agree on. While the referenced studies are all relatively recent, the placebo effect has long been known in medical circles. Heck, I learned about it at a young age from watching an episode of M*A*S*H – who says TV can’t educate? In the video, several things jump out at me in regards to proper use of data. First, the hospital referenced the positive impact on healing that having social events creates – letting kids be kids, forgetting for a few moments about how hard their situation is. Second, the head coach and his wife recognized the unique opportunity that the hospital’s location gave them. By thinking ahead, and communicating well, they were able to work together to create a solution that’s truly special. Last, but not least, you hear the testimony of a mother and son talking about how looking forward to Saturday enabled him to push through the tough days.

At the end of the day, nothing we do in our daily jobs will be as challenging as what those families are going through each and every day. If the people caring for them, surrounded by all the pressure and stress created by a truly life and death environment, can coalesce the disparate data sources of medical journals, architectural drawings, and a coach’s family experiences into something with this impact on people’s lives, why can’t data experts do the same?

I would like to extend my best wishes, thoughts, and prayers to the families and children dealing with these health issues. Let us all hope that one day soon there will be a data set that illuminates a cure for all that ails them.

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