Big Think on Big Data

“A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.”—Plato

“Big Data is just one tool in a much larger process, like a small boat on the wide ocean.”— Prof. Stephen Markham at Spring 2013 CIMS Sponsors Meeting

There’s a strong link between financial performance and effective use of big data, according to “Big data: lessons from the leaders,” a SAS-sponsored global survey of 752 senior executives conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit during the first half of 2012.

IBM expects its 2015 revenues from Big Data to reach $16 billion, according to The New York Times, Feb. 28, p. B8. The company’s total 2012 revenues were $105.5 billion.

“The manner in which Big Data can be used to create value across the government and in the global economy is broad and far reaching. We are at the cusp of a tremendous wave of innovation, productivity, and growth ¾ all driven by Big Data as citizens, companies, and government exploit its potential.”   – Demystifying Big Data: A Practical Guide To Transforming The Business of Government, The TechAmerica Foundation’s Federal Big Data Commission report, Oct. 2012.

“Social media literacy and big data analytics may very well be fundamental skills for the jobs of the future.”—Jim Spohrer, IBM Innovation Champion, in CIMS Innovation Management Report, Fall 2012.

Splunk, the San Francisco, California machine data management consultants,  led Fast Company’s March 2013  Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Big Data. The magazine ranked Quid, Kaggle, ZestFinance, Apixio, Datameer, BlueKai, Gnip, RetailNext, and Recommind numbers 2-10, respectively. View complete issue at

The difference between a great data scientist and a good one “is like the difference between lightning and a lightning bug,” writes Navesink Consulting Group president Thomas C. Redman on the HBR Blog Network, Jan. 28, 2013. “A good one can help you find relationships in vast quantities of disparate data…. Great data scientists, on the other hand, develop new insights about the larger world.”

The world creates 5 Exabytes of data every two days, or roughly the amount created between the beginning of civilization and 2003, Google CEO Eric Schmidt asserted in 2010. His claim drew headlines as well as guffaws from, among others, Robert Moore of RJ Metrics. Moore calculated that it would be more accurate to say that, “23 Exabytes of information was recorded and replicated in 2002. We now record and transfer that much information every 7 days.”

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