Explaining FAIR data to Aunt Doris

Explaining FAIR data to Aunt Doris
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I’m certain you might have encountered this case your self. You are at a household gathering, and somebody on the desk asks you precisely what you do for a dwelling. It could possibly be your uncle, your grandfather, or a toddler. You attempt to describe in easy phrases what you are doing, however they get a puzzled expression on their faces. You retain attempting for a little bit bit, nevertheless it’s clear you are not likely coping with them. In the long run, the dialog turns to a different matter.

Your incapacity to satisfactorily clarify what you’re doing will also be the case when talking with somebody who has a technical background themselves. They aren’t conversant in your subject and focus, and so they can’t perceive why you’re so enthusiastic about this subject to start with.

Bridge the understanding hole – even with your self

Making an attempt to bridge this understanding hole is usually a enjoyable problem. One in all my co-workers throughout my PricewaterhouseCoopers days referred to as it “writing for Aunt Doris.” Consultancies resembling PwC workers greater than 6,000 roles for consumer tasks, so there are plenty of SMEs with specialties that not many individuals know a lot about.

However enterprise individuals need to work collectively, and consultants have to hitch groups on an advert hoc foundation, so there’s fairly a bit of data sharing inside groups, to not point out throughout corporations and naturally between consultants and purchasers.

When you’re writing efficiently with a hypothetical relative who does not work in your subject, you are getting your message throughout to a common viewers. And should you write a little bit the identical means, you’ll understand that doing so helps improve your understanding of the subject.

One other means to have a look at this skill is to assume when it comes to the Feynman method, named after a professor of physics at Caltech who was recognized for explaining troublesome matters in a transparent and easy means. The Feynman method contains 4 steps:

  1. Select a subject to check.
  2. Clarify the subject to somebody unfamiliar with it, resembling a toddler.
  3. Discover the gaps in your understanding.
  4. Simplification and clarification with measurements and examples.

Utilizing the Feynman Approach permits us to create, study, and share info via learning, writing, and educating. You begin with the fundamentals, utilizing examples and measurements to speak your factors. The extra you write for a common viewers, the extra partaking your content material can be.

Subsequent, I’ll attempt to clarify to our digital aunt what FAIR knowledge is and why it will be significant.


In the case of knowledge, FAIR stands for FUnable aaccessible, Interoperable and sstraightforward to make use of.

FAIR knowledge is knowledge that customers can belief greater than as soon as, for a couple of goal.

Why is FAIR knowledge vital?

Good well being care is an instance that everybody can establish with. Hospitals and clinics must share plenty of correct and related knowledge to assist sufferers. Machines might help by offering healthcare professionals with the info they want, once they want it, within the type they want, on to the purpose of care.

Ideally, the machines would retrieve helpful and correct FAIR knowledge in response to questions or calls for from professionals, knowledge they may belief then and there to information them in making remedy choices. The proper of FAIR knowledge delivered on the proper time, in the suitable place, to the suitable individuals, in the suitable format might help save or enhance many sufferers’ lives.


  • Producers want it to effectively construct helpful and reliable merchandise.
  • Retailers want it to make sure that the merchandise they inventory from a lot of suppliers are genuine and meet their necessities.
  • Regulation enforcement must arrest suspects and to seek out and show who’s liable for crimes in a good and well timed method.
  • People want it to dwell and thrive in at this time’s world. Sadly, we’re pressured to belief machines that don’t all the time give us the right info. It’s as a result of the info is just not appropriate for the duty.

At present’s knowledge drawback

The extra we depend on knowledge to assist us, the extra we depend on techniques designed by others that we do not know a lot about. These techniques use and share knowledge in methods that aren’t all the time reliable and dependable.

Take chatbots, for instance. Chatbots are packages designed to help customers by partaking these customers in a easy type of dialog. They’re the following step within the evolution of customer support. Customers encounter them when calling the 800 quantity, or when attempting to make use of a web site or app. However usually, the solutions they provide us after we ask a query should not useful solutions. It’s as a result of the info is just not delivered within the context the person is occupied with. Or, the person could get a largely appropriate however nonetheless deceptive reply.

FAIR knowledge will assist as a result of it describes a number of contexts in a machine readable means. The extra info is communicated and made extra correct and related with the assistance of context, the extra dependable solutions machines will have the ability to retrieve.

How FAIR knowledge will assist

If we create contexts for the info in order that it turns into FAIR knowledge and is linked to different FAIR knowledge, chatbots will give us extra dependable solutions. And that is only one means FAIR knowledge might help.

When linked and machine-readable, FAIR knowledge is the form of knowledge machine you may must make sense of the world. On this means, machines and people collectively might help customers in lots of ways in which we’ve not even begun to discover but.

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