So Long as There’s Small Business, There Will Be Small Data (and Excel)

This week, with a little time off between semesters, I’ve been helping a family member with financial reporting & analysis for his business. It’s been over a year since I worked in finance and this exercise reminds me how frustrating this can be and how critical a strong command of Excel is to modern data […]

Survey Says: Big Data, We Have Some Work to Do.

I recently read, per the tweeted recommendation of Secret Life of Pronouns author James Pennebaker, Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are, by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz.  See Seth Stephens-Davidowitz’s book Everybody Lies. Best #bigdata/#language book in years. Must read for #socialpsychology #economics — James W Pennebaker (@jwpennebaker) June 2, […]

Is Data the Best Disinfectant?

Louis Brandeis, writing about transparency, said that “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” You want to get to the bottom of things? Then measure, report, expose. Man does nothing to create sunlight. It is an element, a natural resource. Big data is often seen like sunlight — apply enough reporting and statistics, […]

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. […]