The principal at the heart of metrics has existed before software was created. Think Caesar’s census to determine the size of the Roman nation. Think of the first language’s role in categorizing type and number of different aspects of reality.
The principal in metrics informs our interpretation of reality. In 100 years, the immensity of data and speed at which it’s collected will make life, and metrics, remarkably different. Will technology allow for metrics to be built into our minds? If the Singularity movement has prophesied correctly, the merging of humanity and technology will create an experience where metrics become a key facet of consciousness.
Regardless, the collection of data will become more and more prevalent, until information is attained exponentially. In 100 years, we will understand how truly fluid existence is, and yet, be able to locate how it changes with higher precision.
Even now, data is entering databases, the “cloud,” the airy ether of the Internet, in higher volume than ever before. Take for example, mobile apps that track running distance, and social networking sites that record your life. In the future, a wider number of sources and perspectives will add to a more informed understanding of reality. That is, if we have the power to digest it.
Here’s where metrics comes in.
Metrics, praise be, will turn this overwhelming data into narratives. As they do now, metrics offer pragmatic information to answer specific questions. In this sense, each metric is a narrative that includes, sorts and combines relevant data. In a future where more and more data will be available, the power to sort and categorize this complex data into understandable information will be invaluable to human existence. Without it, humanity will be confused, lost in the fragmentation of accessible, but seemingly disparate information.
However, because data will be collected continuously, its meaning will be constantly changing. How long will a specific metric-based narrative be true or relevant? The role of metrics will be to offer real time narratives congruent to the changing data.
Even now, the ITSM world is experiencing the break-neck pace of adapting to meet their customers’ needs. “The challenge is that businesses are changing so rapidly that it’s difficult to keep up,” Malcom Fry explains in his Executive Summary. “ITSM Strategies: Value to Business.”
That means the conversation is already moving faster than understanding is. Innovation means catching up to continual understanding. Will metrics make it there in 100 years?