Was it a creative idea or data that gave us motion pictures?
While associated with the creation of motion pictures, Eadweard Muybridge basically used data to settle a bet. The question as to whether a horse's feet were all off the ground at one time while running was apparently the source of much discussion (and likely a wager or two).
To settle the bet for his patron Muybridge invented a system to trigger a series of pictures as a horse ran by - he also later created the zoopraxiscope to display images of what was to become stop-action or slow-motion photography to audiences.
Today Google honored him with a doodle....