"Big data enables new ways to create value, it's going to change the basis of competition," Michael Chui of the McKinsey Global Institute said this morning to kick off O'Reilly's big data conference, the Strata Summit. The next two days are all about the rise of information that has to be dealt with on scale, big data, and its consequences. "It will change the way companies, sectors and economies compete," says Chui.
McKinsey published an exhaustive 150 page report on big data this Spring, which argued that data will soon become an economic input as important as labor and capital. It's not just about pure economics, though. As Edd Dumbill, chair of Strata, put it today, our relationship with big data needs to serve humans - not turn humans into the servants of machines and information overload. "We know that big data can help us, it may be the case that big data has to help us."