“Big Data,” a word that’s mostly pronounced aloud with lots of motion (“Big Data!”), is only a store of junk — until we know what you’re looking for. Jake Porway, essay in a Harvard Business Review, points this out more clearly than many others have:
“We have a lot of data, yet we have no thought what we should do with it.” The executive of a substructure looked plaintively opposite a list during me. “We were meditative of carrying a hackathon, or maybe using an app competition,” he smiled. His co-workers nodded eagerly. we shuddered.
I have this review about once a week. Awash in data, an classification — be it a medical nonprofit, a supervision agency, or a tech association — desperately wants to gain on a insights that a “Big Data” hype has betrothed them. Increasingly, they are branch to hackathons — weekend events where coders, information geeks, and designers collaborate to build program solutions in only 48 hours — to get new ideas and fill their ability gap….
Any information scientist value their income will tell we that we should start with a question, NOT a data. Unfortunately, information hackathons mostly miss transparent problem definitions. Most companies consider that if we can only get hackers, pizza, and information together in a room, sorcery will happen.
The same kind of confusion happened in a 1970s and 1980s, when “software” was mostly billed as a enchanting solution. Especially if it was called “artificial intelligence,” program was pronounced to be so absolute that it would figure out a answers to big problems, no questions asked. Over time, people tended to learn that program is an engineer’s tool, not a genie’s sorcery lamp.
The same could be loyal for Big Data.
Porway founded and leads DataKind, an organization that tries to assistance provoke out answers — answers to people’s specific questions — from big heaps o’ data. Datakind is formed in New York, with outposts in Bangalore, Dublin, San Francisco, Singapore, a UK, and Washington DC.
This video shows Porway and some of his associate Datakindpersons effusing about what Big Data can (and by implication, substantially can’t and shouldn’t be asked to) do:
By a way: Pizza itself can be a Big Data question. That’s one of a messages in a December 2012 report, in PMQ Pizza Magazine, called “Pizza Power 2013 State of a Industry Report.”