musings and one liners

Big Data and the Bright Future of Applied Statistics

I couldn’t help but think of these two together, because I happened to read them within hours.

The bright future of applied statistics:

I think that the data revolution is just getting started. Datasets are currently being, or have already been, collected that contain, hidden in their complexity, important truths waiting to be discovered. These discoveries will increase the scientific understanding of our world. Statisticians should be excited and ready to play an important role in the new scientific renaissance driven by the measurement revolution.

And Stephen Few ranting about the term “Big Data” in A More Thoughtful but No More Convincing View of Big Data:

I have a problem with Big Data. As someone who makes his living working with data and helping others do the same as effectively as possible, my objection doesn’t stem from a problem with data itself, but instead from the misleading claims that people often make about data when they refer to it as Big Data. I have frequently described Big Data as nothing more than a marketing campaign cooked up by companies that sell information technologies either directly (software and hardware vendors) or indirectly (analyst groups such as Gartner and Forrester).

Isn’t Big Data just a (marketing) term for the category of data sets that are difficult to store and analyze with traditional tools? Obviously what size and tools we’re talking about is changing over time…