KDnuggets Home » News » 2015 » May » Opinions, Interviews, Reports » 5 Not-to-be-Missed Ideas about Big Data ( 15:n17 )

5 Not-to-be-Missed Ideas about Big Data


The things we can measure are never exactly what we care about; When everything hinges on metrics, people will game the metrics to the point of losing any meaning; and more key ideas summarized by Kaiser Fung.



kaiser-fung
By Kaiser Fung (Junkcharts).

If I believed in upvoting, I would be clicking my fingers bent on this op-ed article that appeared in the New York Times at the beginning of May. It's written by "data scientists" at Facebook and Google. (Thanks Dean Eckles for drawing my attention to it!)

Here are a list of important ideas not to be missed:

  • The things we can measure are never exactly what we care about
     
  • When everything hinges on metrics, people will game the metrics to the point of losing any meaning
     
  • Big data in the form of behaviors and small data in the form of surveys complement each other
     
  • Data teams should hire social psychologists, anthropologists and sociologists
     
  • Human experts help data experts figure out what they are missing
     

Here are some old posts on the blog that dig into those topics, in chronological order:

Numbersense in education (link): gaming statistics, subjectivity in metrics, accountability and metrics

Toward a more useful definition of Big Data (link): limitations of Big Data

Big Delusion (link): the idea that survey research is killed by Big Data

An Anthropological study shows why complete data designs are counterproductive (link): data is incomplete, shoe-leather research

Two unsolved problems of Big Data studies: confirmation and controls (link): limits of data, need for human investigation, incomplete answers

The false promise of data correction (link): errors in data, gaming of data

Pondering OCCAM data in medicine (link): thinking about what is missing in the data

Count data are less useful than you think (link): limits of metrics

Reflecting on Alamar's reflection on sports data (link): too much data, subjective metrics

KDnuggets interviews me (link, link): data integrity, human intelligence, statistical reasoning

Some data science principles from Gelman, Rosling and me (link): data not enough, there is still uncertainty

Sense and Nonsense about Big Data and Surveys (link): surveys still important.

Original.

Bio: Kaiser Fung is a Marketing and Advertising Analytics expert, author and speaker. Currently at Vimeo and NYU.

Related:


Sign Up

By subscribing you accept KDnuggets Privacy Policy