4 Biggest Big Data Myths
Big data will never eliminate uncertainty or answer all your questions. But treat it as a fad at your own peril.
Myth 1: You Can Get To All Of The Data
On many levels, we are living in unprecedented times. Never before has so much data been available to us. Forget megabytes and petabytes, exabytes of data now exist. I read recently that the average person in an industrialized society today consumes more information in one day than his fifteenth century counterpart did in his lifetime.
Despite this unfathomable amount of data, no person or organization can store and retrieve all of the data on a particular subject, much less overall. And yes, that includes Google. Its software indexes the Surface Web, not the Deep Web. Some estimates put the latter at 25 times the size of the former. As a result, when you search, you are accessing anywhere from 4% to 6% of all information on the Internet.
Taking it down a level or 30, individual authors like me cannot access some very valuable information, such as which specific customers are buying my books. Sites like Amazon and stores like Barnes & Noble keep that information. Nothing would make me happier than knowing my customers, but even in a big data world, that information eludes me. You will never get all of the data. Period.
Deal with it.
Myth 2: You Need All Of The Data
No doubt that more data helps, but don't for a minute think that you need all data to make an informed business decision. Organizations that are effectively leveraging the power of big data realize that they will never capture all relevant information.
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