Dominoes are rectangular pieces of wood or plastic, about the size of a Tic Tac. One side of each domino bears a pattern of spots or dots (also known as “pips”) that distinguishes it from other dominoes. The other face of each domino is blank or marked with a line to divide it visually into two squares. Normally, the domino is twice as long as it is wide. Stacks of dominoes are used to play positional games, in which one player places the pieces end to end in such a way that the adjacent ends match each other — for example, three’s touch one’s or five’s touch each other. The number of matching sides is a measure of the domino’s value or rank.
The first domino is placed at the starting point of a row and then the other players take turns placing their pieces along the row in such a way that when the last piece is played, it touches or “touches” the remaining pieces and sets off a chain reaction called the Domino Effect. Using this basic game, players can create elaborate designs and use a variety of scoring systems.
When we think of the Domino Effect, we often picture an event that starts with a small, manageable cause and leads to much larger consequences. This is similar to how we write stories: whether we plot a manuscript off the cuff or carefully outline each scene, the process comes down to determining what happens next.
Physicist Stephen Morris of the University of Toronto demonstrates this power of the Domino Effect in a video. In the video, Morris begins with a single domino and pushes it to the right, which causes another Domino to tip over and start a chain reaction. In a matter of seconds, the dominoes have moved more than a foot and have knocked down about a dozen additional items that would have been impossible for them to do without the Domino Effect.
The Domino Effect can also apply to business and leadership, as well as many other areas of life. The domino effect can be a positive thing, if we take advantage of it. However, we must be careful not to let the domino effect lead us astray and get caught in a cycle of negative actions.
Like dominoes, business data analysis has its own unique challenges that require tools to help accelerate and simplify modern analytical workflows. Unfortunately, tools that enable data science best practices have not yet matured to meet the needs of enterprise organizations. As a result, teams are forced to awkwardly graft software engineering tools onto their processes, build their own custom solutions or simply tolerate inefficiency. The Domino Data Lab is changing this by offering a data science platform built from the ground up to fill in these gaps and eliminate the need for custom development or manual workarounds. The platform enables users to quickly integrate various languages, IDEs and data sources with their choice of analytics platforms and tools.