Data Confessional

“If you torture the data long enough, it will confess.”

                                                   -Ronald Coase

I love that quote because it gives data a humanistic capability…the capability to obtain useful information. Inside every set of data, no matter how simple or mundane, there is information to be obtained. Data not only contains information that is obvious, but also information that we don’t yet know exists. When looking through raw numbers, charts, and graphs from every perceivable angle and combination, there comes a moment that these small but important pieces of information will emerge. With persistence, an open mind, and a will to engage in a bit of targeted torture, you can make a little bit of data go a long way. Over the next seven days, I will take a set of seemingly simple temperature data and massage it, analyze it, and torture it until it confesses what it knows. Each day I will present the data using a new visual. I will show you how, by analyzing and displaying data in different ways, you gain entirely new actionable information and surprising insights.

About The Data

The data that I will be analyzing is one week of rack inlet air temperatures obtained from an intelligent energy management system in a data center. Temperatures were measured in the cold aisle at the top and bottom of the rack. The data was collected with 149 sensors resulting in 298 monitored points in the data set (149 top temps and 149 bottom temps). The data is comprised of hourly averages for each point for the duration of the week. Below is a sample of the raw data.

Raw Data (Top of Rack Temps)
Raw Data (Bottom of Rack Temps)

Tomorrow will be the first day of analyzing this information in the attempt to gain insightful and actionable information.  Stay tuned.

Tomorrows Post: From 10,000 Feet


9 thoughts on “Data Confessional

    1. Hi Mike – The DC Huddle event is at the Hyatt at the Santa Clara Convention Center where the Uptime Symposium is being held. Here is the address:

      5101 Great America Parkway,
      Santa Clara, California, USA 95054

  1. Pingback: Day 1 – From 10,000 Feet

  2. Pingback: Day 2 – Rack by Rack

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  5. Pingback: Day 5 – Bubble Charts

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  7. Pingback: Day 7 – Summary

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