Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Book Review - Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think
The book tells you a lot about Big Data, the ubiquitous term nowadays.

There is so much of data being generated in the form of text, photos, and videos. Add to that the tons of personal data relating to whenever we do on our phone, like our location, what and how we are reading, listening, surfing the net, using different apps, etc.

Every minute detail of the way we use different apps are relayed back to the developers to get an understanding of the efficiency of the product. Everyone, not just Google, Amazon and the government are gathering data and analysing them, but everyone, including Goodreads.

Big Data is replacing the old cause-and-effect theory of 'if something is done in a particular way, it will have a particular effect", with correlation theory of "if most people are doing a particular thing in a particular way, then most others, if not everyone, are also likely to do that in the same way."

In the earlier era of small data, there was lot of importance to accuracy, but today, in the era of big data, there are more chances of inaccuracies, but that is compensated or nullified by the huge wealth of information that Big Data analyses provide.

The authors also rightly talk about the tyranny of data. Everything doesn't work according to numbers. There are many non-quantifiable and intangible, qualitative and contextual variables that affect analyses.

A good book, written in an easily understandable manner, especially for anyone who wants to know what Big Data is all about and how it's changing our lives.

On the flip side, the authors, in their attempt to explain different aspects of Big Data, tend to get too repetitive.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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