The Blind Philosopher's Database

Designing data structures that work for different users' perspectives

Scaling a biotech research platform requires an organization to define and optimize the flow of data, which can be broken down into three questions:

1. What tasks do we need data for (and what data do we need for these tasks)?

2. How will we collect/acquire/generate this data?

3. How will we organize the data to connect collection to usage?

My latest blog post, The Blind Philosopher’s Database, is about the third question. But even though it's the last question you should answer, understanding the possible answers is necessary to properly address the first two questions.

In fact, this post is secretly about a concept with an intimidating name: Data Normalization.

But don't let that stop you - We'll focus on the context and motivation for this concept, and how it can help you make informed strategic decisions about all three questions above.