Today while driving I started thinking of all that data analytics has created. Suddenly everyone has started talking about data analysis, statistical model or predictive analytics. But is it really a new field or are we following these concepts since ages?
So, I went through few books and ancient writings that tell us about our Vedas and the people who lived in that era and how they used to analyse data. As we all know, the word ‘Analytics’ depends not only on how how we collect and process data, but it also depends on our caliber of understanding it.
Now, let’s highlight a few things that would make you wonder on how our forefathers used data analysis in such primitive times.
According to Hindu Mythology, the distance between sun and earth is 1536000000 kms. In Hanuman chalisa it is clearly mentioned as: “Yug sahastra yojan per Bhanu! Leelyo taahi madhur phal janu!! 1 Yug = 12000 years 1 Sahastra = 1000 1 Yojan = 8 Miles Yug x Sahastra x Yojan = par Bhanu 12000 x 1000 x 8 miles = 96000000 miles 1 mile = 1.6kms 96000000 miles = 96000000 x 1.6kms = 1536000000 kms to Sun”
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As per NASA the distance between sun and earth is 149,500,000 kms. Thus, it is approximately equal to what NASA is saying today!
This made me more interested in how they analysed the distance between sun and earth in a time when there was no technology? So I assume that they must be having some models for data collection which they used to calculate or analyse the data. Interestingly, in the present times, the most popular technology we use is statistical modelling and predictive modelling for data analysis.
A statistical model embodies a set of assumptions concerning the generation of the observed data, and similar data from a larger population. A model represents, often in considerably idealized form, the data-generating process. This is the formal definition of Statistical modelling.
Now let’s discuss where and how our ancient people used statistical modelling.
Though so many people don’t understand or don’t believe astrology but it’s our ancient knowledge and it’s a part of Veda. Astrology is full of statistics and statistical modelling. In astrology they use all statistical formulas to calculate the mean of the kundali and they different models like “Regression Analysis”, “Time series Analysis” to understand the life span and to understand the relation between two variables of the kundali.
The second major thing that we use in analytics is predictive modelling.
Predictive modelling leverages statistics to predict outcomes. Most often the event one wants to predict is in the future, but predictive modelling can be applied to any type of unknown event, regardless of when it occurred. This is formal definition of predictive modelling.
Now let’s see how our ancient people used predictive modelling to predict things.
As we all know every year there is solar and lunar eclipse, but our forefathers could predict the eclipses while writing yearly calendars. How they did it? We can only guess that they may have had their own predictive models which used statistics and helped them to predict the future. Moreover, they were able to predict weather changes, rainfall, reservoirs of water, and many other things that were a part of their daily lives or were vital for their survival.
I would like to conclude that we may think we new to data analytics, but the fact remains that we have only evolved in terms of technology, and our forefathers were way ahead in their times! Today, the technology has enabled us to create complex models that are more suitable for our modern world and needs.
Vijay Kumar is data scientist enthusiast who take care of strategic planning and project delivery at Analytica. He is responsible for client relation, project delivery and functional requirement analysis.