Big Data Quotes of the Week: August 18, 2012

George Church, Harvard

“A device the size of your thumb could store as much information as the whole Internet”—George Church, Harvard (on a big data storage experiment which encoded his forthcoming book into DNA)

“Big data is the renaissance of the nerd”–Michael Karasick, IBM

“In the old days, most data problems could be solved as computing speed caught up. Now, there’s this deluge of new kinds of data which is growing faster than Moore’s law. It can be sensor data, like images, or behavioral data, like clicks on a website. We’ve basically broken what Moore’s law can cope with, and so we need a bunch of new technologies to get on the right side of that again”—Richard Dale, Big Data Boston (new VC firm focused on big data)

“If we and other investors in this space do our jobs, in 15 years the terms ‘IT’ and ‘Big Data’ are pretty much synonymous”—Matt Ocko, Managing Partner, Data Collective (“the world’s first Big Data-only early stage investment fund”)

“The Big Data story is the making of a meme and two vital ingredients seem to be at work here. The first is that the term itself is not too technical, yet is catchy and vaguely evocative. The second is that behind the term is an evolving set of technologies with great promise, and some pitfalls”—Steve Lohr, The New York Times  

“[There are] no bragging rights for making it simple. If you don’t do that, you won’t be able to go forward”–SriSatish Ambati, 0xdata (on the easy-to-use big data trend)

“Most of us will be data consumers (and co-producers of course), but there will be a fast-growing business opportunity for big data service providers mainly in the form of cloud services, where most of the data sits anyway”–Holger Kisker, Forrester

“Librarians and research services staff were the first data specialists, trained to locate, compile, analyze, and summarize large volumes of data. Any organization would do well to harness the brain power and honed skills of a library and research services team”– Sumana Ramakrishnan

“The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads”—Jeff Hammerbacher

“Why do we believe that data science has the potential to revolutionize health care? …the health care industry is now awash in data in a way that it has never been before… We have entered a new era in which we can work on massive datasets effectively, combining data from clinical trials and direct observation by practicing physicians…  When we combine data with the resources needed to work on the data, we can start asking the important questions, the Wanamaker questions, about what treatments work and for whom”–Tim O’Reilly, Julie Steele, Mike Loukides and Colin Hill

“At first glance, data scientists may consider themselves fish out of water when it comes to applying game-theoretic approaches to customer engagement. Methodologically, game theory looks at discrete variables–actions, events and outcomes–rather than the continuous variables that are the heart and soul of data science’s core discipline of regression modeling. In addition, game theory assumes that we should model engagements as interactions among rational decision makers–individuals and businesses–that can have deterministic outcomes, rather than the probabilistic outcomes associated with mainstream data science. Down deep, game theory is the realm of what some have called “decision science,” rather than data science in its traditional sense. Nevertheless, it provides a valuable set of approaches for behavioral analytics. Game theory can deliver rich insights, especially when data scientists use it to enrich and extend the propensity, experience, and other behavioral models at the heart of customer engagement”–James Kobielus, IBM

“…a recent CEB study of nearly 800 marketers at Fortune 1000 companies found the vast majority of marketers still rely too much on intuition — while the few who do use data aggressively for the most part do it badly”—Patrick Spenner and Anna Bird

“If you want to know what the large-scale, high-performance data processing infrastructure of the future looks like, my advice would be to read the Google research papers that are coming out right now”—Mike Olson, Cloudera

“When do we get to call ‘big data’ just ‘data’ again?” Nathan Yau ?@flowingdata