Mission 30b/365: Big Data

I have this obtuse and irrelevant goal of reading 30 books (30b) in 365 days.

Book #9 was Big Data: A revolution that will transform how we live, work, and think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier and here is my breakdown…

The term “big-data” is very in and cliche right now. Big-data is a concept that utilizes massive amounts (NOTE: Petabytes) of information to find abstract correlations of what is and not too much care is on why.

Ever since the book and movie Moneyball sports organizations, MIT, managers, CEO’s, coaches, athletes, etc. have been on this kick. I admit, it’s quite provocative since its all geared around using the information that we have collected to make big discoveries. I mean, who doesn’t want to figure out a concept that was literally under our noses?

Here are my thoughts, concerns, questions, what I found interesting and definitions I’m interested in (I’m not necessarily into summarizing):

  • It’s not about more complex algorithms, it’s about obtaining more data to reduce noise/messiness (pg 36).
  • The pursuit of the “single version of the truth” is a distraction (pg 44).
  • Big-data = correlations not causalities (Chapter: RISK).
  • Future of big-data experts will pursue: (mathematics+statistics)^2 + computer programing +network science (pg 143).
  • “Big-data” mindset is a recognition of an opportunity that certain data could be mined to reveal valuable secretes (pg 124).
  • Education sector – Udacity is using big-data to see thoughts, errors, and how to encourage prompts. When 2,000 people have the same error are the students wrong or is it a shitty question or, is it a great learning opportunity now (pg 115)?
  • Big-data can be likened to physics with “potential” and “kinetic” energy. Data not being used has potential energy to do something (pg 104).
  • Big-data’s true value is like an iceberg…only a tiny part is visible at 1st sight, while much is hidden beneath (pg 103).
  • Pre-mature babies have a stabilization of vital signs prior to serious infections – Does this happen with athletes (ie. “I was feeling great then…” statement precedes many injuries or illnesses)?
  • Does the thought of big-data provide an illusion of observation, wants, hopes, desires to unearth a gem of information/correlation and negate the simple idea of intuition to observe what is directly in front of us (SEE: Robert McNamara/Vietnam pg 163 and Louis CK – Stupid Facebook Posts)?
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