We collect piles of data over the years. We have an archive of emails, documents, snaps, cards – everything. We do it so that we can reference or reuse our “stuff” later – for example we can refer back to an email conversation 5 years ago. We even do it because we feel good about all this ‘past’ sitting with us. However, hardly we use it to get an insight into what has happened. We do not think we can learn from this huge repository. Sometimes its the lack of tools. But believe me this can be a treasure trove.
I am fond of collecting stuff – but also to make some sense out of it later. Even if it is just for fun. I like to be able to identify any trends, patterns or behaviors from what I have and see if there is something insightful lurking there. You simply cannot trust your memory or raw brain to do that processing for you. It’s not cut for bulk processing and data mining.
Wordle is a nice tool that lets you analyze large amount of text and visually display most commonly occurring words – in a very visually appealing manner. The source text can be raw text or even sources on web that have an RSS feed. So, if I analyze my blog, here is what Wordle tells me:
Scrum Development is a Scrum community email group with high traffic (excellent resource for those who are involved with Agile in any form). Cory Foy made an effort to analyze the huge repository of email threads in Scrum Development over the years using Wordle. The idea was to see what was being said most commonly over years – and in a way get a sense of what the community considers important.
This is interesting – and useful. It’s a nice handy tool.
What is important is the concept of making sense of the data from past that you have and get some insights into it. May be that helps you going forward. Past behaviors can be good indicators for future.