We highly value curiosity at Ginnungagap. When we get together and talk about our inner drivers, i.e. what make us go to work every morning, we have one thing in common; namely the ability to learn something new. We do this by being open minded for things we don't know. Sometimes reading, chatting and discussing are enough, but very often we play around as well. We find something interesting, we download and install it, play with it and we learn – everything driven from curiosity.
We like to be curious as kids, and we allow us to be so. We are convinced the concept of learning through play* can be applied to adults as well as on children, but within a more specified area in what to learn about. And we know we’re not alone having this mindset. We’ve seen many companies building playgrounds within their offices to increase creativity and social skills of their employees. Examples are Lego rooms, table tennis equipment, hackers’ corners, etc., etc.
Data analytics is also very much about being curious, allowing to learn through play, but with the focus on playing with data to learn relations, see patterns and also conclude things you didn’t know before.
Obviously, playing with data requires access to data, which may sound like a simple task. Howver this is a point where things can start to get complicated. The learning through play concept forces copying of data to an infrastructure allowing complex analytics. The price tag of such environments shall not scare you, there are alternatives in the public cloud that most companies can afford. Instead, the fact of copying information from one place to another may be against company policies, or even legally or ethically incorrect.
Legal aspects has become more important over the last years. New legislations, s.a. GDPR, have entered our markets to regulate what we persist and the way we work with data. We are sure we've just seen the starting point and more legislations will follow. But even if the analysis you consider is witin all legal boundaries it may not be ethically correct.
Ethics and morality are words to familiarize with. When we talk about ethics, we mean the rules stated by the society of what’s ok to do or not, and where morality is something your team (members) show when staying within these rules. Adding the concept of connected data (where different sources of data are connected with each other and cross referenced) emphasizes even more caution with regards to ethics. Practically it means you must always find it ok to investigate certain relations where the results may be very sensitive with regards to whatever subject.
At last, normally we don't like to talk about the consequences of inner politics, but having access - or giving access - to data is political; because having access to data is similar to having access to power. Therefore, if you know politics can hinder your work it may be a good advice to work on trust before immediately asking for access to data.
So, in our minds, way before you start to talk about technologies and other cool stuff you want to do, make sure you play within the legal, ethical and political boundaries. Thereafter make sure you can get access to data. While having these items secured – enjoy technical talks and further analytics and remember; stay curious and allow yourself to play.
We are not big fans of titles because it puts ourselves into boxes. Instead we encorage everyone to do what they are best at. We all have solid technical and management backgrounds within computer science technologies and software development. However, we do have focus areas within the company to simplify external communication.
If you feel like sendning us mail, please do. You'll reach us on the following postal address.
Ginnungagap Informatik AB
Lidnersplan 10, 6tr
112 53 Stockholm