Which Harry Potter character is your data?


Gareth Hill
by Gareth Hill
posted on Tue, 22 February 2022

Data Insights

Being data experts we take data pretty seriously. After all, it’s everywhere, exists in a multitude of forms and nowadays is what makes the world go round. But we don’t take ourselves too seriously and every now and then we like to have a little fun with data.

We started to think about the stages our clients go through in their data journeys, and if the data was human, who would it be? Of course, the obvious answer lies within the characters from Harry Potter!

So, without further ado, we’ve developed a simple guide to determine which Harry Potter character your data most closely resembles, and what you could do to get it to a level that Harry himself would be proud of.

Ron Weasley

“Why SQL? Why couldn't it be ‘query the spreadsheet’?”

Despite being clumsy, disorganised, and woefully underfunded, your data is one of the most faithful companions you will ever find. Your data may not be the best, it may not even be correct nor get you the result you want, but it’ll be there when you need it.

Tips for getting your data fit for purpose
Having your data in a familiar and trusted state can feel comfortable and safe, but that doesn’t mean improving it is a bad thing. Investing in your data now by developing a data strategy and moving away from folders of spreadsheets and PDFs towards a more structured database-driven ecosystem will mean you still have the same data you’ve always known, but it is now capable of great things that may surprise you.

Severus Snape

"There will be no foolish pivot tables or silly incantations user interfaces in this class. As such, I don't expect many of you to appreciate the subtle science and exact art that is SQL queries.”

Severe, foreboding and a lot intimidating, your data is sitting there, but being around it is a little frightening. Don’t worry though, ultimately your data is there to help if you can just see through its apparent efforts to make you constantly fail.

How to embrace the power of data
If your data is something to be feared, it may not have been set up with the right foundations. Data should be something that works for you and your team. Undertaking a data audit to better understand your data and what you need from it can improve that relationship and build trust so you can achieve your goals.


“There is no good and evil. There is only data, and those too weak to seek it”

Powerful and terrifying, your data can take many forms and you fear it with good cause. The ‘data which must not be named’ is not here to help you, it is here to bring you suffering. Only once you have found and destroyed the seven horcruxes left by departed engineers can you strip your data of its power and banish it for good.

Keeping legacy systems in check
Attempting to improve your data is a good idea. However, if this is not done in a cohesive way it can lead to a fractured state of multiple data sources across multiple systems, which can be a force to be reckoned with. Over time, the people who understand those systems may move on and it becomes increasingly difficult to control. When embarking on the data transformation journey, it is important to put in the extra effort to consider and involve all relevant stakeholders and document everything along the way, just in case things get out of hand.

Hermione Granger

“Fear of a naming convention only increases fear of the data itself”

Using the latest research and hyper-organised, your data is seemingly faultless, almost to a fault. Sometimes you may feel your data is judging you for your poor habits, but it’s just trying to bring out the best in you and with a bit of effort you will soon see how glorious your data really is. Your team knows that they can always trust it without concern of a misplaced decimal point or ill-formatted data field, and that it will always show up at the right time and execute its task perfectly.

What to do when you’ve reached data maturity
Once your data is in the best possible shape, the extra effort required to maintain it in that state can be a little intimidating. It is important to remind your team that persisting with the data standards, the naming conventions, and all the other best practices will lead to success down the line and allow for all sorts of amazing things when you need it most.

Albus Dumbledore

“Data. It is a beautiful and terrible thing and should therefore be treated with caution.”

Ostensibly limitless in its knowledge and wisdom, your data is powerful and integral to keeping things running. Sometimes you wonder why your data couldn’t just use some of that power to do what you need to do more quickly and simply, but as powerful as it may be, there will be times that you will need to harness the power it has provided and make things happen for yourself.

Data at the top table and central to all decisions
Once your data has attained full maturity, it will almost certainly be at the heart of all your operations; one reliable source of all knowledge. However, the true power lies in what this enables. Processes can be optimised, data can be visualised precisely when and how it’s needed, and artificial intelligence can be used to enhance and expand operations in new and exciting ways.

So which character does your data resemble?


Gareth Hill is the Data Science and Innovation Manager at Data Insight. He has a breadth of experience across data science, machine learning and data management and is passionate about creating and fostering an innovation culture at DI.

Need help getting started with data?

Gareth Hill
by Gareth Hill
posted on Tue, 22 February 2022
Gareth is the Data Science and Innovation Manager at Data Insight. He has a breadth of experience across data science, machine learning and data management and is passionate about creating and fostering an innovation culture at DI.

Data Insights