Sunday, October 24, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010


Dasvidaniya means Goodbye in Russian. I am referring to the Bollywood movie by the same name which was released in 2008. I just happened to see it today. It's spooky that I happened to see this film on my 36th birthday. This is one of the best movies I have seen this year. Its about a 37 year old guy who comes to know that he only has a few months to live. It alters his complete perspective on life and he lives the last few months of his life doing all the things that he ever wanted to do in life but was too afraid to do.

I think as we live our daily lives, every now and then we should pause and reflect to make sure we are spending time on the right things. We should keep asking ourselves, if we were to die soon would we still be spending time doing what we are doing right now?

I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who reflects on life. Even if you do not understand Hindi, the DVD comes with English subtitles.  Do check it out.

45 Lessons from Life - By Regina Brett

Today I completed 36 years of my life. And I thought I should publish something on my blog on this day. My dear friend Arun Pinto who sends me some of the best emails on life and philosophy sent me this really nice email just in time on my birthday. I think this is worth sharing with anyone who  cares to read my blog and to think, what life is all about. So here goes.

Written by Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio .

 "To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most
 requested column I've ever written.

 My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

 1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

 2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

 3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

 4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

 5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

 6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

 7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

 8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

 9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

 10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

 11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

 12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

 13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

 14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

 15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

 16.. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

 17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

 18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

 19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

 20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

 21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

 22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

 23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

 24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

 25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

 26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

 27. Always choose life.

 28. Forgive everyone everything.

 29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

 30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

 31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

 32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

 33. Believe in miracles.

 34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

 35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

 36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

 37. Your children get only one childhood.

 38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

 39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

 40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

 41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

 42. The best is yet to come...

 43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

 44. Yield.

 45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Data Quality & Critical Decisions

I was very influenced by one quote that I read from Narayan Murthy (founder of Infosys) which goes as follows: “In god we trust. Everybody else has to bring data.” I think this is true for all individuals, organizations and nations. All the critical decisions in the life of an individual, organization or nation should always be based on hard data.

That brings me to the next question. How good is the quality of data on various subjects as of today?

Since information technology came into the picture, the quantity and quality of data has been improving at a rapid pace. But we still have a long way to go. Unless we have standardized data formats for all the critical data elements, we can never get accurate data from all data sources. It is very important that data from various data sources can be complied in a single data warehouse, so that it can be summarized, sorted, filtered in a way that helps us get accurate information which helps in making the right decisions.

I still see that when two partners in a supply chain try to share data, it is not yet plug & play technology. It takes quite a bit of time and cost to achieve seamless integration between two systems and two partners in a supply chain. Unless we are able to achieve plug & play integration between various entities that participate in the global economy, we will struggle with good data which can help to take the right decisions when it comes to critical policy matters in the fields of health, education, business, economics and politics. This has major implications for the future of our planet.

The use of XML standards for standardization and sharing data is a great start and all of us need to play our part in making sure that we help to standardize any and every kind of data that can be standardized.

While security and privacy of data are legitimate concerns and a lot of attention has been given to these points recently, I see that many people have not yet realized the potential of data format standardization, so that data can become actionable information which could help us avoid costly mistakes on critical policy matters.

These are some thoughts that I had on a leisurely Sunday morning which I thought worth sharing with you. Do let me know your thoughts on this topic.