Mo’Data, Mo’Problems

Some time ago, I was triggered by this tweet (by @meneer; no surprise in that):

that somewhat-translates (i.e., manually, however clunky still better than machine translation as that doesn’t get Dutch unstructuredness…) to: “Bizarro weather picture again: forecast #somechannel/app from the South-East to the North-West, #someotherchannel/app from the North-East to the South-West” referring to some predictions about clouds and (turned out quite torrential) rain passing over the minute geography of the Netherlands.

And another about this article – that explains, in a more scientifically styled prose, that having ever more data makes it ever more difficult to connect the dots you’d want to connect…

Both of which are poignant reminders that:

  • Big Data is not a tool but a mere tool, to be used very carefully even (or in particular?) by the few that have really big data sets. If you collect focusedly, it can hardly be called Big, rather ‘Smart-‘ or just plain ‘data analysis’, no more; if you collect as much as you can, you are destroying objectives achievement – the required method destroys the results;
  • If, very big if, Big Data would result in anything, why haven’t weather predictions improved ..? The enormity of data that had already been around in that arena for decades, will have exploded over the past one, and should have resulted in far better predictions instead of the worse that the predictions seem to have gotten. And we’re talking patterns, not even the zoom-in to tinier details that one commonly associates with BD (the major patterns are usually skipped for being too well known already). Hence, what hope would we have for other areas..?
  • Reliance on apps for info is getting more and more dangerous, almost literally so far, but in an indirect sense, already, widely. What if… when now as already well-known, some search giant might have monopolized Search and skews the results you get…? That would theoretically be a disaster. Oh.

So, think again, be ever more critical of Shallows app usage and reliance… I’ll leave you with:
??????????[Lucca: ‘modern’ Italian parade]

Maverisk / Étoiles du Nord