How Data Entry is referenced in Popular Culture, Both Past and Present

How Data Entry is referenced in Popular Culture, Both Past and Present

Published On November 29, 2016 -   by

Pop culture embraces all things relevant in media, particularly in movies, music, television, sports, news, fashion, and technology. It’s a focal point in Western culture, and serves to provide a point of reference for the majority of communication between people in today’s society. It also creates a common framework for interaction and helps to instill an overall sense of fellowship and commonality for people all over the world. Throughout this thread of pop culture over the past sixty years, there has been a recurrent underlying link in the form of data entry and all its various embodiments.

At first glance, data entry would seem to be an oddity in the course of pop culture references, yet it is undeniably present in numerous familiar contexts. Ever since society at large designated a recognizable concept of “pop culture” in the late 1950’s (arriving hand and hand with the influx of rock and roll in the United States and the U.K.), data in popular culture has been a staple in nearly every conceivable corner of media, and carries an even stronger presence today with the global architecture of the internet and interactive mobile devices.

Data takes on a new, compelling shape when scrutinized under the following interesting, unique, and very specific pop culture references.

Popular Culture: The Present

Data Collection, Research, and Analysis in Sports:

There are literally dozens of different sports that carry a ravenous fandom on their metaphorical shoulders. This multi-billion dollar industry extends to every possible section of media, consumer products, and events, whether it’s protein bars and sports drinks contracts with football players on the label, or multi-million dollar baseball stadiums in major cities, or even fantasy sports leagues in everyday homes. Data collection, research, and analysis is a fundamental backbone to every single aspect of the professional sports industry, a scientific process overseen by professional specialists and an analytics department.

These data based methods aid professional sports teams in studying an athlete’s abilities and probabilities when contracting them and determining their value for joining certain teams, among other things.

Further examples of data research, collection and analysis in a professional sports context include: 

  • Determining baseball player batting averages or a footballer’s yards per carry
  • Calculating an athlete’s winning percentages
  • Tracking ballpark revenue
  • Pricing and counting ticket sales for seats
  • Tracking budgets for stadium maintenance
  • Budgeting for the season
  • Trading and signing players

Data Mining, Collection, and Analysis in Comic Con:

While once symbolizing a small representation of “geek” culture, Comic Con is now a billion dollar global industry that brings in millions in revenue for the event’s host cities. With Con events taking place in New York, London, Los Angeles, Seattle, Sydney, and San Diego (to name just a few), Comic Con now embraces a wealth of popular culture, including blockbuster movies, televisions series, celebrity events, book signings, video games, and toys, and boasts attendance counts of close to 200,000 people per day. Companies like Xbox, Paramount Studios, Marvel, DC Comics, Universal Studios, and Blizzard rake in millions of dollars in product sales and guest fees, continuing to spurn the legitimacy of Comic Con as a lucrative entertainment event.

Data entry is integral to the management and organization of Comic Con, and requires teams of accountants, researchers, and analysts utilizing complex data mining, collection, processing, and analysis techniques.

These techniques are applied towards a multitude of areas, and some specific examples include: 

  • Determining popular events per location
  • Studying social media for trending actors, shows, and movies
  • Booking guests according to popular demand on social media
  • Tracking attendance and ticket sales
  • Contracting with local hotels and convention centers
  • Obtaining feedback from participants
  • Budgeting and paying for guests (like Playstation or HBO)
  • Tracking and processing payments for product sales

Popular Culture: The Past 

Data Collection and Research in Advertising

Advertising is currently one of the driving forces behind every brand, company, and product, and encompasses each segment of our daily interactions with all types of media. Yet the indispensability and impact of advertising on general public opinion and purchasing habits only became a part of popular culture in the early 1960’s, with brands like Marlboro, Ford, and Campbell’s Soup becoming household names due to clever advertising. The early 1960’s was the start of advertising on a mass media scale, and was used to heavily influence consumer spending. As advertising feasibility and significance grew, companies like Apple used clever advertising in the late 1980’s to bring awareness to their brand and build a following.

As advertising in the mid-20th century relied on data collection and research to reach their goals, the available methods were largely comprised of manual, laborious public opinion surveys, and product sales calculation.

Data collection and research methods were utilized towards the following examples:

  • Calculating commercial ratings per advertisement
  • Determining public favorability towards brands
  • Budgeting for billboard and magazine ads
  • Calculating product sales

Data Entry in Science Fiction and Fantasy Culture

With the world on the cusp of frequent war from the 1910’s through the 1980’s, people yearned for an escape from the often depressing reality WWI, WWII, The Korean War, Vietnam, and the Cold War brought. The rise of Science Fiction and Fantasy genres in popular culture was widespread throughout books, movies, art, and television. Ray Bradbury, Tolkien, Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, Star Wars, and Alien encompassed all possible corners of media with rich sci-fi and fantasy art forms, and were incredibly popular throughout the early to late 20th century.

Some based in the realities of scientific data collection, research, processing, or analysis, others offered glimpses of dazzling data entry usage in the forms of imaginative futuristic technology.

Data entry, in every conceivable shape, was referenced in this scope of Sci-Fi and Fantasy media in the following specific ways: 

  • Space navigation, travel, linguistic interpretation, and computing in the 1960’s Star Trek T.V. show.
  • Of the 982 characters in Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of Rings books (c. 1937), there are extensive databases that classify statistics like race, gender, life expectancies, age, and relationships for each.
  • The Star Wars movies (introduced in 1977) featured the Jedi Archives, a fictional collecting database which contained all the information of the known galaxies.
  • Bradbury’s War of the Worlds book (1898) inspired scientist Robert Goddard to invent special rockets for NASA space travel through scientific based data collection and research.
  • The hit 1979 movie Alien featured the ship “Nostromo,” which provided an advanced computer for the crew to access information and data about destinations, crew members, company information, star systems, and history.


Data entry references in pop culture have delighted, inspired, and educated the public, scientists, entertainment and sports industries, news, and so much more since the notion was propagated in the mid-twentieth century. For practical uses in determining ticket sales or budget constraints in the athletic world, or for spawning make-believe space travel in Star Wars, or for inspiring genius in NASA astrophysicists like Goddard, data entry has been, and continues to be, a concrete presence in our known world… and beyond.

– Data Entry Outsourced

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