Down-To-Earth Value From Big Data
Big data is an exciting idea, but I find little agreement about what the phrase means in concrete terms, and how to make use of it. Could big data be the next nanotech, a field that was hyped enormously in the last decade but produced disappointing practical value? (I concluded that nanotech is basically the 21st century name for the mature science of chemistry.) Or is big data more like the PC or the smartphone, platform technologies that unlocked huge user value and a stream of valuable innovations?
First, what does big data mean? Here’s my try at a definition. “Big data” is a set of technologies that enable collection and analysis of very large data sets that yields valuable results, commercially or otherwise.