5/5/13: Big Data

 
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"Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"

Those lines are from the opening stanza from "Choruses from the Rock"  by T.S. Eliot. I would add: "Where is the information we have lost in data?"

Big Data is one of the hot business topics. Like most things in life, this coin has two sides, this sword has two edges. There is great promise and also great peril. Here are some articles and posts to help you think about Big Data and what it means for you and for all of us.

From Industry Week: Putting Big Data to Work
"This is the age of information -- the age of big data.  As we enter it, it's clear that neither life nor business will ever be the same. And already, manufacturers who have found the new alchemy of turning data to value are recording record profits and climbing to new heights of productivity."

From Fortune: Nate Silver: What Big Data can't predict
"Fortune talked to the statistics whiz about the limit of data's impact on business."

From Kristian J. Hammond: The Value of Big Data Isn't the Data
"It is clear that a new age is upon us. Evidence-based decision-making (aka Big Data) is not just the latest fad, it's the future of how we are going to guide and grow business. But let's be very clear: There is a huge distinction to be made between "evidence" and "data." The former is the end game for understanding where your business has been and where it needs to go. The latter is the instrument that lets us get to that end game. Data itself isn't the solution. It's just part of the path to that solution."

From the Skoll World Forum: Moving from Big Data to Big Wisdom
"Data is at the base of a hierarchy of understanding.  It is the raw material for evidence and greater understanding.  Only when we link data together do we begin to see concepts, questions, and context emerge as “information.”  Only when we begin to structure, interpret, and evaluate that information do we gain the insights which form the basis of “knowledge.”  And knowledge leads to “wisdom” only when we begin to synthesize, weave, and apply this knowledge to other and new situations."

Wally's Comment: This last is a pointer to several thoughtful articles. My thanks to Stephen J. Gill who pointed me to this post through his Performance Improvement Blog.

Wally's Working Supervisor's Support Kit is a collection of information and tools to help working supervisors do a better job. It's based on what Wally's learned in over twenty years of supervisory skills training. Click here to check it out.

 

 

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