Big Data Quotes of the Week: July 27, 2012

“Knowing the right question, or problem to solve is very important. Sometimes the computer scientists are [pressed into service as] data scientists. But computer scientists are not trained to ask the right business questions. They might be asking some other cool questions that will help them with research or publication, but not necessarily the right questions to ask for the business”—Mok Oh, PayPal

“Big data analytics finally allows marketers to identify, measure, and manage what is positively impacting their brand. Social media activity harvested from the entire open social web with technologies like Hadoop, Cassandra, Mahout and Pig combined with advanced analytic techniques like natural language processing, semantic analysis, machine learning, and cluster analysis can reveal the true consequences of marketing actions online. These developments enable a whole new world of brand measurement for digital marketers”—Jeff Dachis

“We’ve gone from a world in which finding the data is most important to a world where analyzing it trumps finding it because we all have too much”—Blu Putnam, CME Group

“A data scientist can find patterns in data that you haven’t sent them to find. You don’t send a data scientist for a specific business function; you provide a massive amount of data and free rein to use their skills to discern patterns in that data.”

“We can build a system… that identifies something outside the norm.  And we can give you the ability to look at a lot more data than you get from trying to solve the problem with queries against rows and columns. But without human intervention, it’s hard to identify causality”–Tom Wheeler, ClickFox

“I am not sure what key traits differentiate exceptional analysts from average ones. I speculate that having substantial curiosity is a fundamental one. Their life is not a mission but rather more of an adventurous voyage to understand why things behave the way they do. Exceptional analysts infect others with enthusiasm. Their curiosity leads to imagination. Imagination considers alternative possibilities and solutions. Imagination in turn sparks creativity”—Gary Cokins

“The best aspect of most hype-generating technologies is that they pierce the “knowledge bubble” that surrounds IT and end up being considered by your C-suite peers. Conversations around Big Data are a great time to discuss the information that IT is diligently gathering and storing, and how to design better ways to allow relevant parties outside IT to access, manage, and report on those data. Like all things data, just because you can store it and report on it doesn’t mean you should, and conversations around this are one of the best potential outcomes of the big hype surrounding Big Data”—Patrick Gray

“Media and regulators are demonizing Big Data and its supposed threat to privacy. Such moral panics have occurred often thanks to changes in technology…But the moral of the story remains: there is value to be found in this data, value in our newfound publicness… Demonizing data, big or small, is demonizing knowledge, and that is never wise”–Jeff Jarvis

“Big Data is the new oil. The companies, governments, and organizations that are able to mine this resource will have an enormous advantage over those that don’t. With speed, agility, and innovation determining the winners and losers, Big Data allows us to move from a mindset of ‘measure twice, cut once’ to one of ‘place small bets fast”–Bryan Trogdon

“I’m a big believer in nowcasting. Nearly every large company has a real-time data warehouse and has more timely data on the economy than our government agencies. In the next decade we will see a public/private partnership that allows the government to take advantage of some of these private-sector data stores. This is likely to lead to a better informed, more pro-active fiscal and monetary policy”–Hal Varian, Google

“The world is too complicated to be usefully encompassed in such an undifferentiated Big Idea. Whose ‘Big Data’ are we talking about? Wall Street, Google, the NSA? I am small, so generally I do not like Big”–John Pike,

“We can now make catastrophic miscalculations in nanoseconds and broadcast them universally. We have lost the balance inherent in ‘lag time’”–Marcia Richards Suelzer, Wolters Kluwer

“By 2020, most insights and significant advances will still be the result of trained, imaginative, inquisitive, and insightful minds”–Donald G. Barnes, visiting professor at Guangxi University, China