Big data is certainly on the tip of everyone’s tongues these days as both the amount of data entered online expands and the ways to track objects and people grows with wireless connectivity and sensors. We have both more information being entered and more sources of that information, providing a river of data that somehow we’re going to capture and use to make money and better decisions.
For those wondering about the big picture and some of the nitty-gritty details (metadata, data visualization, open document formats) The Economist has a killer package on big data. Download it at the web site, or wander out and get your own copy of the magazine. I was intrigued by the idea that the “it” career in a data driven world was statistician.
Writing about the concept of big data is kind of like trying to write about water. Water is essential, touches so many aspects of life — from evolution to the current location of cities — that one article, one book or even one field of study can’t articulate its influences. Data will be the same way in the not-t00-distant future, thanks to cheap, scalable computing and ubiquitous broadband enabling a connected everything.
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