Exploding Data from an Offline to an Online Base
There is no room for error in critical information that depends on the well-being and future of our U.S. immigrant clients.
Seven years ago, I kicked off my journey in the professional world as a product designer. My role was to conduct user experience studies and figure out customer journey maps for a registration process. My background in Anthropology helps me understand the complexity of what goes beyond user journeys and how we process information.
Prior to transitioning as a product designer and UX Researcher, I was working at an immigration law firm for over eight years. The most difficult aspect of my job was transmitting information from the voice of our clients, translating into English, taking notes on paper, then migrating this information to a digital format. As a researcher who works with clients on a daily basis, documentation is the biggest challenge at our agency. Every morning our team would have a roaster with the client information organized on an hourly base. My goal at the firm from 2011 till 2017, was to organize data and migrate all paper based material to digital content.
The end goal was to build an application on the computer with zero errors to be submitted to the U.S. Immigration Department.
As a researcher, the longer I spent time transferring information on a piece of paper to a digital surface, the more I wanted to fix these paper-based problems. For example, false pronunciation of numbers, letters, names, etc, would lead to serious delays and errors from our end. I’m fascinated by a world that can migrate offline paper-based systems to the digitization of existing physical content.
The passion for efficiency and digital transformation isn’t quite a unique feature of software developers or to design thinkers.
I thought of this piece related to our current affairs on data. The following is an excerpt from the book The Industries of the Future, by Alec Ross.
Chapter: Data: The Raw Material Of the Information Age – Data is the raw material of the information age.
“ Private companies now collect and sell as many as 75,000 individual data points about the average American consumer. And that number is tiny compared with what’s to come.
The explosion in data creation is a very recent occurrence and from its inception, data storage has grown exponentially. For millennia, record keeping meant clay tablets, papyrus scrolls, or parchment and vellum made from animal skin. The first modern paper, made from wood or glass pulp, was a big advance; but the first major milestone in mass production of data came with the invention of the printing press. In the first 50 years after the first printing press appeared, 8 million books were printed–more than all the books produced by European scribes in the prior millennium.
With the successive inventions of telegraph, telephone, radio, television, and computers, the amount of data in the world grew rapidly during the 20th century. By 1996, there was so much data and computing had gotten sufficiently inexpensive that digital storage became more cost-effective than paper systems for the first time.
As recently as 2000, only 25 percent of data was stored in digital form. Less than a decade later, in 2007, that percentage had skyrocketed to 94 percent. And it has continued to rise since.
Digitization dialed up the possibilities for data collection in a remarkable way. Ninety percent of the world’s digital data has been generated over the last two years. Every year, the amount of digital data grows by 50 percent. Every minute of the day, 204 million emails are sent, 2.4 million pieces of content are posted on Youtube, and 216,000new photos are posted to Instagram. Industrial films are embedding sensors into their producers to better manage their supply chains and logistics. The sum of all this is the creation of 5.6 zettabytes in 2015. A zettabyte is 1 trillion gigabytes.”
pages 153, 154. The Industries of the Future.