This sort of thing was a big deal in the social sciences in the 1960s -- using factor analytic techniques to extract "dimensions" from Big Data. By the time I hit grad school in 1975 it was already a flop.
Why? The data were collected using theories as to what was important. And what, exactly, were those theories? Good luck finding any documentation at all -- the people who defined the data collection probably weren't aware of them. They were there nonetheless. And that's what you found with your factor analysis -- exactly what the unspoken, unchallenged theories of the mediocre trudgers put in. If you asked them why, all they would be able to say was, "It's obvious." So you find out what's obvious to the ignorant and dull.
Harsh but true. Instead, try starting with a sharp, clever theory, and refining it with testing.
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