When you think of data, the concept of creativity is likely not part of the word association game. However, data and creativity need each other. To come up with an idea that people will discuss, debate, like and share with their friends, it takes many things and creativity is at the top of that list.

However, we will admit that data science might not be seen as the most creative of pursuits. You add a load of data into a repository, and you crunch it on the other end to draw your conclusions. Data in, data out, where are the possibilities for creativity?

One definition of creativity is when you are able to make something out of nothing. This requires an incredible amount of imagination, and seeing past the obvious to reach a deeper conclusion is the hallmark of a great big creative, data professional.

There are obvious places where creativity is expected. In the world of marketing and advertising, where the task is to build brands that engage with individuals to

build business, it is impossible to overlook the flood of newly available data made possible by the explosive growth of digital channels and devices, each creating its own unique stream of information.

Many successful people come across as innovative thinkers. They can mold the data in unique and unexpected ways. It is important to remember that to be creative with the data requires a decision to dive beneath the surface, and the risk that this entails. When you are creative enough to suggest something that is not obvious to the untrained eye, you are tapping into your inner brave lion.

If you can’t find a place where data and creativity already intersect, you might have to create opportunities. As more and more creative communications take digital form, there are more and more possibilities to organically build data collection opportunities into them. The challenge is to deliver what the consumer values and to build them into experiences in authentic and organic ways.

Albert Einstein found inspiration in his violin playing, so why is it such a reach for data scientists to find what gets their creative juices flowing? When they do, they often find the most amazing solutions to the challenges that they face.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Access Innovations, the world leader in thesaurus, ontology, and taxonomy creation and metadata application.