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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Big Ideas About Big Data: How Do You Use it?

Seems simple enough? I mean how can two little words mean much more than, right? Wrong. 

Gil Press contributed this piece on 12 different definitions of big data only a few short months ago, and I'm certain more definitions than I can count have developed since then and floated around the offices of IT departments, marketing departments and CEOs. I like the simple and practical perspective provided by Hilary Mason, founder of Fast Forward Labs, on this complex concept: "Big data is just the ability to gather information and query it in such a way that we are able to learn things about the world that were previously inaccessible to us." 

Let's accept Mason's definition and look toward what other thought leaders think about using big data: 

1. "Data really powers everything that we do." – Jeff Weiner, chief executive of LinkedIn

2. "The goal is to turn data into information and information into insight." – Carly Fiorina, former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard 

3. “I keep saying that the sexy job in the next 10 years will be statisticians, and I’m not kidding.” – Hal Varian, chief economist at Google

4. “Hiding within those mounds of data is knowledge that could change the life of a patient or change the world.” – Atul Butte, Stanford

5. “Without big data, you are blind and deaf in the middle of a freeway.” – Geoffrey Moore, management consultant and theorist

6. “I’ve come across several people that are collecting data just to collect because at some point in the future they might be able to get some valuable information out of it. The question is: is it worth doing that? Is it worth keeping that data and for how long? … You can’t just store data forever. It’s not free to do, and it’s a compounding problem.” – Dave McCrory, SVP at Warner Music Group

7. “Data is the new science. Big Data holds the answers.” – Pat Gelsinger, COO of EMC

8. “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” – William Bruce Cameron, American humor columnist

9. “If we have data, let’s take a look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.” – Jim Barksdale, former CEO for Netscape 

So what's your definition of big data and how do you use it? Tell us in the comments! 

By: Susan Gail Taylor, Social Media Manager and Copywriter at RME360