What Big Data Means to Writers

I’ve been working on a project writing about big data for a client over the past few months and, as a result, it’s on my mind almost constantly. Big data is already changing everything about our world, from finding better treatments for disease to more efficiently managing manufacturing.

But surely big data can’t impact creativity, right?

Not so much. If your goal as a writer or another type of creative entrepreneur is to get your work in front of buyers, you have to know what they’re purchasing — as well as how they’re consuming those creative products. That means collecting and analyzing data.

In my own work, I’ve been looking at how I can collect more data and make use of it. These are questions that I want answers to, though I haven’t fully figured out the mechanics of answering them right now:

  • What sort of devices are people most likely to read my writing on?
  • Do readers take different actions after reading if they’re using different devices?
  • What average reading levels do different audiences reach?
  • Do those painful headlines I constantly see on Facebook actually engage readers? Or do people just click share and more on?

I’ve got hundreds more questions that I want answered, but I’d love to hear what questions are interesting you — especially if you think they could be answered by collecting the right data.

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