This week, we will look at the three best articles that speak to the power of big data.
There is a lot of literature on the topic. We find these articles best encapsulate how we can manipulate data and extract meaningful insights like never before. Next week, we will present the best articles that view big data with greater skepticism.
These articles speak to why big data matters:
1. “With enough data, the numbers speak for themselves.”
The End of Theory by Chris Anderson, Wired, 2008
Written in 2008, Chris Anderson predicted “The End of Theory”. He claims that we no longer need to understand why something happens, because “with enough data, the numbers speak for themselves.” A provocative and prescient piece, questioning the hypothesis-based foundation of the scientific method.
2. We can collect, and analyze, every piece of data.
The Rise of Big Data by Kenneth Neil Cukier and Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger, Foreign Affairs, 2013
Essay on how big data will change the way we think about the world, now a New York Times’ bestseller. We no longer have to settle for small amounts, or samples, of data. We will need to tolerate inaccuracy, because the benefit of using vast amounts of messy data outweighs the cost of using smaller amounts of exact data. Most profoundly, “we need to give up our quest to discover the cause of things, in return for accepting correlations.”
3. It’s the hottest field right now.
Interview of Nate Silver by Walter Frick, Harvard Business Review, 2013
Nate Silver is the poster child of data-driven decision-making. In this interview in the Harvard Business Review, he advises aspiring data scientists to get their hands dirty with data, going after a broad education background to help develop a “bullshit detector”, and not settling for a job where they feel bored.
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