There are real similarities in language between cooking and data analysis….as previously described (slow Roast Data).
To take this relationship a step further, it’s quite possible to consider the analysis process to be just like a food recipe. Basically they are the same processes…. some ingredients, a process to work with those ingredients, to create something to bring out the best in those ingredients.
Perhaps this is really just a project plan, with some inputs, process and outputs. The data are the ingredients, analysis of that data represents the cooking process, and the finished meal is the outcome. To push this further then we might like to think beyond output to outcome. So not just a meal that provides functional energy, but one which is a pleasure ride for the senses, sight, smell, touch (texture), taste and even hearing (think sizzling, steak, peppers or indian tandoor). So an analysis that really delights, finds new truths and drives progress.
After all, for the food that hits the spot, it’s not unusual to hear…can I have the recipe. Perhaps this is the test we might like to hear for a good piece of analysis. This also provides that sense of ‘repeatabiliy’, the rigor of science, and potentially a useful audit trail in the right circumstances.
So here’s my recipe card. In fact it refers to some real analysis looking at the senior civil service salaries and their corresponding variation in financial responsibility.....(For Whom the Buck Stops)