Thursday, February 28, 2013

IISD - UN Statistical Commission Seminar Discusses Big Data Challenges and Opportunities

IISD 26 February 2013: The UN Statistical Commission held a seminar on “Big Data for Policy, Development and Official Statistics,” which examined how the Internet, mobile devices and other technologies, such as sensor networks, have fundamentally changed the nature of data.

Big data has the potential to change the ways in which National Statistical Offices (NSOs) use data, especially as more quality and timely statistics become available. Big data differs from “traditional” data by its real time nature, as well as by speed, type and volume. The speed at which new data is created by a range of sources means that there have been large increases in the volume of data, in addition to shifts from a highly structured, centralized and easily managed nature to a loosely structured, highly distributed manner.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How Big Data Can Ruin True Statistics - Storagecraft

Big Data presents a lot of opportunities for information discovery. The world has begun creating billions of bytes of data, which can be analyzed and utilized for everything from marketing to scientific research. But as Voltaire said, with great power comes great responsibility.
People have always been able to manipulate data and create true, yet absurd statistics. But Big Data makes it even easier. According to a recent Wired article by Nassim Taleb, a risk engineering Professor at NYU, Big Data has brought cherry picking to an industrial level. Although researchers and Big Data analysts can now understand and use information in new ways, it’s also easier for them to misuse it in new ways. With Big Data and its vastness of information, statistical correlations can be found simply because of the size of the data sets and not necessarily because the correlations are genuinely valid.