From Emerging Trends Trader (AUSTRALIA)-
‘Data! Data! Data! I can’t make bricks without clay.’
— Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of the Copper Beeches
I (Ken) have been watching a TV series lately. It is one that you may have watched at some point as well, most likely in the 80s. I have been watching the 1984 TV series ‘Sherlock Holmes’. Through the superb portrayal of Holmes, by Jeremy Brett, there is one unmistakable trait you may notice about the character, and it is best summarised in the quote above.
As you may have seen or read from the books, Sherlock Holmes cannot solve a case without data. It is essential to his methods. And his was a series of tales that supposedly took place between 1880 and 1914 in the Victorian and Edwardian periods. Despite his fictional nature, Sherlock Holmes was already a champion of the scientific method at such an early time.
In the early 1900s, ‘data’ was already a well-accepted concept within the scientific community. When Holmes was solving strange cases from his Baker Street consultancy, the first computer had already been made in the late 1800s by Herman Hollerith in the United States. The first tabulating machine was arguably the first computer ever; it was used to process data for the 1890 US census.
It was called a ‘super computer’ back then because, well, it was the fastest computer in the world. However, it obviously lacked the advanced analytical capabilities of today’s computers. Noticeably, it was also in the late 1800s that data, statistics and mathematics were being introduced to analyse financial markets. The early 1900s turned out to be an era of great strides in all fields of natural and social sciences (such as finance).