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Absolute and Relative Time: The Impact of Data Science

Absolute and Relative Time: The Impact of Data Science

Posted February 13, 2024
Roberto Delgado Castro
Roberto Delgado Castro

First edition.
Roberto Delgado Castro
Data Scientist and Compliance Officer
robdelcas @


Data science has impacted human life and work environment as we have known them. Such impact is so relevant that it has also changed our perception of time.

Absolute Time and Relative Time

Absolute time is the time of the universe. It is absolutely constant. Due to the fact that the functioning of the universe is mechanic, all movements could be measured and evaluated through time. Thus, lots of time ranges could be calculated using mathematical models: translation and rotation movements of planets, distances between galaxies, trajectories of comets, etc. Therefore, absolute time is exact.

External events or shocks, no matter how small they are, could be totally devastating for the universe´s balance. Such events could also vary in absolute time with the same serious consequences. For instance, one minute less in Jupiter´s translation time range could be a potentially life-ending event in the universe.

On the other hand, relative time is not constant. It measures the time ranges of human activities. It could be considered as a human perception. For example, how much time a person spends commuting to work every day. Hence, it is a dependent variable. It depends on how daily tasks are executed in terms of time spent.

Therefore, as absolute time remains invariable, relative time, as humans perform a determined quantity of tasks, keeps variable depending on the time ranges of those tasks.

The Impact of Data Science in Relative Time

Data science, as part of the recent technological revolution, has produced an enormous impact in relative time. Why? Quite simple. Its usage has helped humans to reduce time spent on lots of tasks that were performed manually before. Thus, it has accelerated relative time or, at least, the human perception of relative time, although absolute time remains constant.

In addition to the previous argument, data science has helped humans to perform more tasks in less time. So, the perception that time goes faster is real; we usually feel that time runs very fast when we are busy. For example, fifteen or twenty years ago, in order to generate an executive-analysis report of a large database, analysts could spend nearly one or two weeks to do so. Nowadays, a single person could complete such a task in half an hour using a statistical-data science programming language.

Therefore, the impact of data science in relative time lies in the fact that it allows humans to execute more tasks per unit of time now, than in the past. That is the reason why our perception that time runs faster now compared with some years ago is real.

Finally, as data science keeps its brutal growth and more and more algorithms take control of databases and analytics, as well as it keeps its significant scope through almost every human activity, absolute time watches invariable, at the same time relative time varies depending on time-spending ranges.

But do not be afraid. This is the reality of the actual market. I consider this phenomenon as an opportunity… a valuable opportunity. If you are looking for efficiency in your work, data science could be a great partner. You won´t regret it!!!!

See below for other Data Science articles from Roberto Delgado Castro:

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