Imagine if you could have interacted with today’s www fifteen years ago. I believe that ‘Big Data’ is going to have an even more profound effect than the internet has had on our lives, our work and even our play! The Human Face of Big Data is a project that is designed to give us a glimpse into this future. (www.thehumanfaceofbigdata.com)
To me this thing that is being called ‘Big Data’ is quite simply a shift in what we use technology for. In the past technology has in general automated what we could already do manually. We could keep customer records, write out purchase orders, hand write notes, even walk over and talk to people! (OK that last one was a lot harder if they lived on the other side of the world!)
The current transition is where we use technology to supplement our brains, which it is said can consider 5, (give or take 2), things at one time. We have trained ourselves to cope with this by summarising things down, focusing in on what we believe are the important pieces etc. However, there is a whole new approach to being “inclusive” in our thinking rather than “exclusive”.
Einstein once explained that the difference between people like him and the rest of us is that if he was asked to find a needle in a haystack, he would continue to look for all the possible needles, rather than what we would do is to stop after finding the first. (Interesting article on ‘inclusive’ thinking here.)
You can be part of this social experiment! The project involves gathering data from TEN MILLION people around the world. Data about their everyday lives which will create a “Big Data” set to help demonstrate the power of data. Just go to www.thehumanfaceofbigdata.com and register or just download the app on the 25th September and begin providing data to this project.