Does the Upset Election Kill Big Data?

  It’s been about a month since the US presidential election, when Donald Trump was elected contrary to the prediction of nearly every poll. Since then, there’s been lots of talk about “the death of Big Data” — is it really that impressive, if we failed to predict an election by this much? While I have many […]

Does Big Data Overlook Human Behavior?

I am becoming skeptical about the promises of Big Data. Surprised? So am I. The Big Data worldview tends to see information as a natural resource, like oil. It emerges from some chemical or physical reaction, and merely awaits our “mining” of its value. Maybe this has some merit in the “Internet of Things” movement. […]

These Modeling Tips Are on My Desk: What About Yours?

The other day in my research methods class we were discussing theory: what makes it believable or interesting, when to use math versus a more discursive approach, and so forth.  Over the course of the seminar, I brought up these slides which are placed above my desk at home. These help me formulate theories, build […]

Is Data Distracting Us From Science?

I’ve often joked that data science needs a new emphasis. We tend to over-emphasize the “data” half and forget the “science” half.  The scale and scope of data is new, but science is not. Are we overlooking the latter? Jaron Lanier seems to think so. I am reading his book, Who Owns the Future? It’s a great […]

Is Data a Bridge to Nowhere?

Well, data is a bridge — and it could lead to nowhere.  This weekend I watched a BBC documentary called The Joy of Data. You can see it here, but I’m not sure for how long — BBC does not post to YouTube, and there is no way to access BBC streams from outside the UK: Ironic, […]