Data gravity: The things you never knew you never knew

On Monday evening at 8.30 p.m. Western Standard time in Western Australia (8.30 a.m. on the same Monday Washington, DC time), I joined a DXC TechTalk from my home in Perth to listen to DXC Technology CTO Dan Hushon and a few guests discuss cloud platforms. DXC TechTalk is not just a forum for technical experts but a forum for all of our clients, employees, partners and anyone who wants to listen to, and participate in, the latest discussions happening in our tech community.

What I took from this talk was to hone in on an expression that I had never heard before: #DataGravity. This fascinated me, so I decided to ask questions (my forte) and create discussions. Our CTO Dan Hushon was really approachable and gave me some great advice and links in the #DXCTechTalk’s online chat, and then followed up offline with some great materials to research and look into further.

Two minutes of his time can have a huge lasting effect on myself and others in the organization, and now you, our readers, too. Technical people always need to be willing to share their knowledge with others. This is the technological know-how you cannot learn from textbooks. What you get on these calls is practical information from years of having a go at tried-and-tested experiments going well or not so well. In the DXC TechTalk, you get a glimpse of what makes technical people tick, and that we are all approachable. You just have to ask.

This brings me to an earlier question that two of my teams over the last six months have asked me: “Wow, you really are technical?” My answer: “No, I’m not.” Another exclamation was, “I didn’t realise you did data!” My answer: “I don’t.” Just do what you love.

Deep down, if you ask me the right questions, I will show you my technical and data side. The reason I say “no” is that I know technical people, and I mean really technical people, who are the best in their fields. They outperform anyone else in their area and I trust them to give advice and guidance on their technical expertise.

These people are our solution architects or subject matter experts who are brought in because they are at the edge of their fields, pushing the boundaries, but they have also “been there and done that,” so they know from experience what will and won’t work. These are the technical people in my world. Just because you can understand technical and interpret it to others does not mean you need to know everything; you just need to know the right people to go to.

In the DXC TechTalk, that is exactly what you get: snippets of awesome knowledge from experts around the world who have a lot of technical knowledge in their heads that they want to share. These get-togethers once every month or so are an awesome opportunity to get to know these people, listen to what they have to say, and learn from them. Do not be scared of them; embrace, listen and learn from them.

When I listen to the DXC TechTalks (I have attended quite a few over the years), my trick is to listen to them like a podcast and not look at the slides. The value is in what the speakers have to say. I jot down words and phrases that intrigue me and make me want to know more. Above all, I listen to what they have to say, especially their expert advice and guidance.

I watch the #DXCTechTalk Twitter stream, I see what people think, and I listen to the views of others and the comments people are sharing. This is where the real value lies — where ideas are formulated and where discussion creates capability and opportunity. This is where ideas are born like seedlings growing in a Karri Forrest. These are the people to watch and follow and find out what they are up to. This is the place to network and this is the place to see the experts share.

One person’s technical perspective is another person’s non-technical perspective. It depends on the perspective and background of the person you are talking with and the people listening.

Speaking of, I’d love to hear your thoughts on something I’m considering right now:

If data gravity is an analogy to the nature of data and its ability to attract, combined with the Law of Gravity, then how does data gravity change depending on the environment and depending on circumstances?

Feel free to leave a comment below, or engage me in a conversation on Twitter at @GeoSuperGirl and use #DXCTechTalk. Let’s get the community conversation started around #DataGravity. This particular exploration of data gravity is what I’m going to dive into in my next post, along with an equation of my own for data gravity.

Sarah James was ANZ lead for Authentic Leadership in DXC and an advocate for DXC’s Women in Leadership and STEM. Prior to leaving DXC in September 2017, Sarah founded the Empowering Future Leaders blog and was its primary author. With over 15 years of experience in the world of IT, Sarah’s specialty is spatial information and includes integration on projects as diverse as mapping volcanoes in Hawaii to delivering high-tech police vehicles.


Data gravity defined and equated

Data gravity expanded and relied upon

Transforming to a digital enterprise


  1. This post has strong gravity of info, next stage of data.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Data Gravity changes based on energy and friction, throw in some thermodynamics for good measure… 😉

    Liked by 1 person


  1. […] This is a series of blog posts on the exploration of data gravity as introduced by the most recent DXC TechTalk. You are now reading part 2. Previous post: 1 […]


  2. […] gravity as introduced by the most recent DXC TechTalk. You are now reading part 3. Previous posts: 1, […]


  3. […] Data gravity: The things you never knew you never knew […]


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