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Mary Schmidt Business Builder & Renovator


Idea Pool

Big Data Needs Big Brain(s)

Mary Schmidt

Jul 18, 2013

Mr. SpockI saw a headline recently, “Will Big Data Replace Marketing?”  I nearly sprung a muscle with the eye roll. Certainly, data can be very useful…if it’s the right data ...and it’s correct.  And, the analysts interpret it correctly. (Logic? Schmogic! Even Mr. Spock could find an ever-so logical reason to go gonzo when Kirk got himself into trouble again and needed rescuing again, at the risk of a world, hundreds of crew, or even the entire universe.  We all make decisions based on emotion and then can find logic, with backup data, to support it.)

So. You’ve got data. So what? Facebook, for example, is attempting to figure out how to actually make money, as in sustainable profit, with data provided by the users.  Only one problem. People don’t always tell the truth. We - um - polish up our personal narratives. We “like” things that we never look at again. And what interests me one day, one month, one year…may not interest me tomorrow, let alone next year, when you’ve rolled out that dandy product designed just for my demographic. (Example: politics. A seasonal spectator sport for most. ) 

Here’s another couple of examples of “big data” that can be misunderstood, misused and abused.

The Bible. Both haters and lovers interpret it through their own emotions and experiences.  And this is Big Data, with definitive answers to everything (at least, according to some), supposedly from the Big Guy himself.  (See? You reacted to that last statement, didn’t you? Emotion. Experience. Maybe not a lotta logic.)

Surveys in the last presidential election (No, no, come back…I’ll be very brief. I got as tired of it all as you.)  Both campaigns looked at the very same data. They had very different interpretations.  Mitt Romney really, truly believed he was going to win, right up to election night.  (It also didn’t help that he had a whole lotta people telling him what he wanted to hear.  We all love that…and even if we love numbers, and know better…well, there you go, emotion again. Wishin’ and Hopin’...)

I purposely used religion and politics as examples.  Regardless of your views, you had a reaction to simply reading the above, didn’t you? Data? What data? I KNOW THE TRUTH!

Want to browse through all my posts?  Go to The Idea Pool.  Everything I’ve written since I started blogging.

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