“Money makes the world go around” – is a popular and widely encountered saying. In the religion Hinduism, references are made towards god and goddess associated with money and even Greek and Roman cultures had gods related to wealth. Pondering over the phrase for quiet some time, it dawns to us the extent of influence these little rectangular sheets of colorful paper with different numbers hold sway over regular life.
On a side note, today money is just a number on a screen and the physical realm of importance is slowly diminishing into a virtual realm day by day. This warrants a separate discussion on history of money in general and since our focus is on data and economics, just take a look at the snapshot below first.
Economics is the mother of all data generators today, which is tightly intertwined with our everyday lives. We are oblivious to the fact that we are a lean and mean data generating machines and by the time we blink our eyes a gazillion data is generated in the whole wide world. Our everyday actions, even utmost minor activities are captured in “some form” and documented “some where”. To understand the previous statement, widen the scope of vision and look beyond the obvious. Keep the phrase “There is more to this thing than meets the eye” in mind while looking around.
Shopping is an activity that everyone can connect to here. A bitter sweet haggling over prices with street vendors all the way up to flipping out a credit card at high end mall contributes to overall economy. This is one perspective from consumer viewpoint and each action irrespective of scale, triggers a chain of economic events that keeps the cycle moving forward.
Economic activity can be broadly attributed to three entities. These entities are unique in structure, reach and modus operandi.
- Country – Governments are formed and taken down overnight. Those who hold the mantle to rule can make decisions that will stand anywhere between autocratic to populist. Welfare of people may take a backseat, but keeping the wheels of economy and military moving is always in the priority list.
- Industry – Economic decisions drive the entire value chain and investments are dictated by supply and demand. Investments find way into areas where returns are high and vanishes overnight when risks are high. Any “need” where returns are positive grabs attention and fulfilled either via product or service.
- Society (Individual) – Social animal with needs at all levels from food to private jets. Culture, society and religion shape thinking and actions, which keeps changing throughout lifespan of an individual. You will find rational, irrational, selfless, selfish, greedy, contented, smart, stupid and every other extremes of spectrum who make adjustments to stay under one roof called ‘EARTH’.
Items listed above are distinct in appearance based on description, but they are tightly coupled together based on actions.