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Why does a data bloke love a Mind Map?

A few weeks ago, we heard from Data Analyst Pete Moore (founder of 'Look at your Data') in his excellent Business Club webinar "How to mind map a Data Visualisation". You can watch the recording on our Business Club archive, and here is a sneak preview!

Contact Pete for a unique Business Club discount code, and view his mind map uploads on the free Biggerplate mind map library here.

We also asked Pete to answer some questions for us about his mind map journey and uses. Here is what he has to say!

Could you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

How were you first introduced to mind mapping?

Previous boss (I’m better at it than he is 😊)

How do you use mind maps in your day to day work?

Brainstorming, Note taking (especially in meetings), and modelling of user requirements for data architecture...

Me and the Mind Map, we shouldn’t be friends. I like data, and I really like data architecture. This means I spend a lot of time thinking about what goes where. In this a data architect is just like a normal architect: structure matters. Mind maps on the other hand, well, you know, anything goes really; just plonk your idea in the centre of the screen, draw some spokes and go crazy.

Never the twain should meet. Right?

Wrong! Wrong and thrice wrong. I love mind mapping for exactly this reason. Data architecture is difficult, resistant to change and defines one version of the truth .

What does this mean to you, the user?

It makes my left brain hot. Mind maps are simple, fast moving and readily changeable. They fire up my right brain, get me creative. Let me see the whole solution.

A good data architect should spend a lot of time with the user, taking the requirement, asking questions, probing the solution. This is nothing other than a brainstorm and mind maps are perfect for brainstorming. I see it as the vital first part of taking any user requirement. A step that should happen way before any data architecture. A step that non-data people understand and a step that is all too often neglected. This is a pox on the entire data industry. I use mind mapping to make it right.

What do you think is the greatest benefit of working with mind maps?

Releases the right hand side of the brain to be creative (like a lot of techies I tend to be a left side thinker)

What do you think is the greatest barrier to wider adoption of mind mapping?

They look complicated from the outside looking in.

Would you like to add anything else?

If I had known about mind-mapping every single page of my lecture notes would be different.

Thanks to Pete for sharing his insights with us! Follow Pete on Twitter for all the latest data trends, @thedatabloke, and watch his excellent webinar here!

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Ruth manages our global mind mapping community: sharing news, stories, and updates! Community Manager de la communauté mondiale des mind mappers; je gère le contenu et marketing !
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