#188 Controversial Opinion: You Must Register Your Use Case With the Data Producer – Mesh Musings 42

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I share my strongly held belief that every data product consumer MUST register their use case with the producer and why it is so crucial and important. I sum up with these points:

  1. Data isn’t ever going to be self-describing, at least not deep, context rich data and it definitely won’t be as we focus on data democratization. So, you need to register your use case to make sure you and the producer are on the same page for what is truly being shared
  2. Data producers don’t know what data consumers want – and especially don’t know what potential data consumers want – without more information/conversation. Data producers kinda suck at doing that right now so help them out and improve the information flow. Who knows, they might have something way better for ya
  3. You might actually be able to get at a heck of a lot more useful information if the producer 1) understands your use case and knows they can give you access to the PII/sensitive stuff because your use case is fine on ethical/legal/regulatory checks and/or 2) you are taking on the risk around if you violate ethical/legal/regulatory bounds.
  4. You need to communicate what would most effectively help you achieve a target outcome and have a reasonable, collaborative negotiation between data producers and data consumers. Just consuming from a data product as-is might not meet your needs well enough.
  5. Kinda similar to #1 but just getting a much better understanding of what you are really consuming. Does it mean what you think? Did you create an amazing insight, how can you collaborate with the producer to show that off? How can you make sure you will continue to get what you need as the data product evolves. I’ll be digging somewhat deeper on the next episode with a rant on data contracts.

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