In technology, business and government circles there’s much hype about the potential that may come from harvesting huge amounts of online data. Microsoft researcher and MIT professor Kate Crawford says 2013 looks like becoming the year Big Data boils over.
In the US we're seeing enormous conferences being hosted on it, we are seeing columns in newspapers, the entire business and science worlds are talking about it all the time.
What's interesting about this is that the term itself is actually incredibly vague. It generally tends to refer to how we talk about analysing massive datasets and the sorts of predictive analytics that we can do with that data, but it really covers an enormous range of activities.
So the term itself is pretty useless.
But even more concerning is the emergence of the new data fundamentalism, which is where people really seem to think that unless you have really large datasets then you're not getting close to objectivity and truth. I would question how objective and how truthful these big datasets really are.
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