Answering The Really Big Questions


The promise of DataChemist is simple enough. It is that new ways of thinking about data can answer questions that until now we simply couldn’t address.

Specifically, when we center connections and relationships rather than entities themselves, we are able to explore those connections and find patterns of influence that were previously hidden. In all sorts of industries from finance to logistics, retail to government, there are hundreds of applications for this approach.

After all, our world is really defined by connections and the rules that govern them. If ‘no man is an island’, then the same applies to any individual, organization or even society. Connections and relationships define us and we can only really understand the world when we understand them.

Where Does Religion Come From?

DataChemist isn’t only about commercial applications, however. The potential of the technology is already being proved in research and academia, as evidenced by a paper published in Nature on the 20th March 2019.

In it, a range of data, relating to a huge variety of human societies across millennia, is analyzed to establish the causality between modern societies and what we might call modern religions.

To quote from the abstract:

“We systematically coded records from 414 societies that span the past 10,000 years from 30 regions around the world, using 51 measures of social complexity and 4 measures of supernatural enforcement of morality. Our analyses not only confirm the association between moralizing gods and social complexity, but also reveal that moralizing gods follow—rather than precede—large increases in social complexity“

This is one of the ‘big questions’ of history. And DataChemist, which is used within the Seshat Global History Databank, is answering it for the first time. In fact our CEO Kevin Feeney is one of the authors of the paper.

The Seshat project collects and controls data relating to historical societies and their environments, and is specifically created in order to enable hypotheses relating to human history and development to be formulated and tested.

By bringing ‘big data’ to the study of human history Seshat - and by extension DataChemist - allows new insights and specifically new connections, causations and dependencies to be identified. In turn this can teach us valuable lessons around the world both yesterday and today.

At DataChemist, we are thrilled to see our platform used at the heart of such important research. Not only does it validate our approach - with vast datasets being queried for new insights every day - it also demonstrates just how important new ‘ways of seeing’ are when it comes to delivering real insight from data.

Written by

Luke Feeney


Posted

March 25th, 2019

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