April 20, 2012–We’re entering a scary world of big data analytics. It’s beginning to look like a backlash is on the horizon. An unwarranted backlash, at that. And data mining is looking directly into the tip of the spear. We got a sense of this new trend from a recent Atlantic article, “Everything You Wanted to Know About Data Mining, But Were Afraid to Ask.”
The story gives very grounded explanations, like this: “For the most part, data mining tells us about very large and complex data sets, the kinds of information that would be readily apparent about small and simple things. For example, it can tell us that “one of these things is not like the other” a la Sesame Street or it can show us categories and then sort things into pre-determined categories. But what’s simple with 5 datapoints is not so simple with 5 billion datapoints.”
But, it goes on to paint data mining into a boogie man for the digital age. While it’s true, the technology can be misused, it does more good than harm. However, a bedside table magazine like Atlantic has no interest in depicting that. Thankfully, companies in the know are moving forward and creating positive spin by helping people. A great recent example of Digital Reasoning partnering to help users better understand their data through visualization. We sense this backlash will die down once more users get familiar with the technology. Our threat level remains: LOW.