j‎ > ‎p‎ > ‎

t

Supported by

Technology | Unboxed

Sure, Big Data Is Great. But So Is Intuition.

By STEVE LOHRDEC. 29, 2012

Continue reading the main story Share This Page Continue reading the main story Photo Credit John Hersey

It was the bold title of a conference this month at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and of a widely read article in The Harvard Business Review last October: “Big Data: The Management Revolution.”

Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at the M.I.T. Center for Digital Business, led off the conference by saying that Big Data would be “the next big chapter of our business history.” Next on stage was Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor and director of the M.I.T. center and a co-author of the article with Dr. McAfee. Big Data, said Professor Brynjolfsson, will “replace ideas, paradigms, organizations and ways of thinking about the world.”

These drumroll claims rest on the premise that data like Web-browsing trails, sensor signals, GPS tracking, and social network messages will open the door to measuring and monitoring people and machines as never before. And by setting clever computer algorithms loose on the data troves, you can predict behavior of all kinds: shopping, dating and voting, for example.

The results, according to technologists and business executives, will be a smarter world, with more efficient companies, better-served consumers and superior decisions guided by data and analysis.

Advertisement

Continue reading the main story

I’ve written about what is now being called Big Data a fair bit over the years, and I think it’s a powerful tool and an unstoppable trend. But a year-end column, I thought, might be a time for reflection, questions and qualms about this technology.

Continue reading the main story

#auto

Subpages (1): a
Comments