Matrix, analysing Big Data from a different point of view

Date 6/10/2021
Category Big Data

In 1999, the Wachowski sisters presented us with the first movie in their famous franchise: “The Matrix”, which would be followed by “The Matrix Reloaded” (2003), “The Matrix Revolutions” (2003) and “The Matrix Resurrections” (2021), with the main characters being played by Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hugo Weaving.

I remember the first time I watched the movie with enthusiasm, and the impact of that dystopian story of human beings feeding, with their energy, a world of machines they had created in a parallel universe where people lived lives that weren’t real (although, what is real and what isn’t?)

However, I am not here to speak about parallel universes. I come to commemorate one of the most iconic scenes of the movie. No, it’s not the image of the two pills (blue and red, opening different paths; that one is also a great metaphor). I want to talk about the “digital rain of green code” that has always stuck with us. At the end of the movie, when Neo has transcended the reality of the Matrix (because he is “The Chosen”), he looks into the Matrix and doesn’t see what the rest of the humans see (or rather, the image the Matrix offers to the human brain and they believe to see). He doesn’t see a world with multiple colours, with green trees, blue skies and people with different skin tones. What he sees are data sets (in the form of code) representing an entity (a person, a tree, a house, etc.)

It looks like we could be moving in that direction: each one of us is the sum of actions, moments, interactions. In addition, each of those moments is a data function (associated to variables, more or less complex). Variables that can take different values and change over time. Independent and dependent variables. The latter with different levels of correlation and connected to each other by means of more or less complex formulas (algorithms).

Going “upwards” is simple: each entity connects with other entitites in different ecosystems, and  new variables arise from those connections and interactions. Even the relational model (between systems and ecosystems) can evolve. In the end, our world is just that: constant evolution.

At this stage no one is doubtful about the value of the data (defined as the new oil not long ago: The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data | The Economist). That is why the “obsession” over data is growing. New specialties: Data Science. New concepts: Big Data, Data Architecture, Data Governance, Data Analytics… And new jobs: Data Scientist, Chief Data Officer, Head of Data…

We are facing a great challenge and also a great opportunity: data collection. If we can see the world as a huge set of data, then… Which data is relevant? Who generates that data? In which business process? Are we collecting the correct data that will bring us knowledge? (Data put in context and understood). Can we get closer to wisdom? (Data in context, understood and used correctly).

Let’s go back to fiction, but literature this time. In the novel “The Circle”, Dave Eggers shows us a world in which a great technology company (The Circle) is able of monitoring any activity and transform each act into a piece of data that is analysed, scrutinized and evaluated in real time. Is that what the future holds for us? Will we look at each other and see green code? I don’t think so, but I think we have a unique opportunity to transform that data into wisdom. We need to work on the constant flow from data to targeted and proven expert knowledge (wisdom) that favours the extension of good practices in organizations and in our day-to-day life.

To transform the data into information that can be used for decision-making processes is, creating a strategy based on collecting, filtering, visualizing and analysing data is necessary. At Integra, we are experts in data analytics and we can help your business be one step ahead.



Manuel Gutiérrez