Friday, December 4, 2015

Big Data: Massive Ado about ... Nothing?

Some of the hype circulating right now around the topics of data science and big data are really annoying me - used to find it amusing, but now it's starting to make me angry. There is a lot too the movements of data science and big data - don't get me wrong - but a lot of what's being said is just plain wrong and doomed to fail.

My main issue is the complete ignorance of history that is shown by people talking up the concepts. They show - often - that they know nothing of the history of work in the area. The most important thing that they miss in doing that is the hard earned lesson that normative approaches to decision making simply don't work unless they are applied collaboratively, with decision makers understanding the models developed. The conceptual frameworks developed for data science and big data at the moment totally ignore human decision making. They assume more data is better for decision making - it's not. Time to take deep breath I think and build a better and reasoned critique of what missing and why it won't work (I'll post here when I've calmed down).

POD (sitting in a "big data" panel session at a major academic conference, fuming)
Just saw a "big data" process model that ignored decision making, and had developing a business case as step 5 of 6. OMG

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