Lesson by Tim Smith, animation by TED-Ed.
“But if big data has been around for so long, why do we suddenly keep hearing about it now? Well, as the old metaphor explains, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and it is no longer just science that is exploiting this. The fact that we can derive more knowledge by joining related information together and spotting correlations can inform and enrich numerous aspects of everyday life, either in real time, such as traffic or financial conditions, in short-term evolutions, such as medical or meteorological, or in predictive situations, such as business, crime, or disease trends. Virtually every field is turning to gathering big data, with mobile sensor networks spanning the globe, cameras on the ground and in the air, archives storing information published on the web, and loggers capturing the activities of Internet citizens the world over. The challenge is on to invent new tools and techniques to mine these vast stores, to inform decision making, to improve medical diagnosis, and otherwise to answer needs and desires of tomorrow’s society in ways that are unimagined today.”
See also my 2009 interview with Tim Berners-Lee where he talks about linking data: “The more data we have, the more accurate our models will be.”