For most of the experts in the Big Data revolution coincidence is not important, but for governments and public institutions understanding it is basic. For the first, the interesting thing is what, whilst for the last the truly transcendental point is why.
In their novel Big Data
Kenneth Cukier and Mayer Schönbetger tell us that in this new era one must not be stumped by coincidence, but instead one should discover patrons and correlations for data, that in the long run will offer innovative and valuable ideas. The idea is, explains Matt Asay in an article
published on ReadWrite
, that by compiling all the data algorithms will find the correlations where it seems impossible to strike any kind of relationship.
But for a government –Asay continues–, it is important to know why people behave in a certain way. A public institution doesn’t try and satisfy the consumer’s demands, but to offer security to its citizens and establish the basis for social happiness.
Bruse Schneier, writer and expert on digital security, comments
that Big Data
can help avoid certain disturbances, but can also blind us to problems that require a more radical focus.
The data is compiled, stored and arbitrarily consulted, a method that in the long run can be harmful. When one tries to be neutral in this process, explains Asay, you look for correlations free of value in the data, and this in turn encourages a search for erroneous solutions.
facilitates the search of coincidence, but by adding more data we generate more confusion than clarity. Nate Silver
, writer and statistician, points out that the amount of information produced increases by 2,5 trillion bytes per day, but what is really useful doesn’t grow by the same proportion. What’s more, he adds, most of it is just noise.