Big Data, not Magic Data

Mark Earls
HERD

Alex Bentley
University of Bristol

Big is not always better. Simplification is often better than precision. Ask appropriate questions of data sets and spot the patterns that lead to genuine insight.


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Big Data is, without doubt, the marketing theme du jour. It's hard to go to a conference, read a marketing magazine or even sit in a meeting quietly minding your own business without some enthusiastic mention of Big Data. However, being popular is by no means the same as being right or better. Indeed, the marketing buzz around Big Data brings to mind Arthur C Clarke's famous observation that 'any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic'.