Boy is it getting tedious, almost every press interview I do on Big Data starts with, “Aren’t the dangers associated with Big Data too big to overcome?” Really, talk about glass half empty!
I start my standard answer, “Do you remember when you would never let your children onto the Internet?” Need I say more!
Then I ask some of these questions, Wouldn’t you like to…
– know you are buying at the best price?
– eating the correct foods, maybe in the correct serving sizes?
– have all the available information to make the best decision?
– be serviced as an individual?
– have your doctor make a diagnosis armed with the latest research, your
history, your genetic makeup and your lifestyle choices?
– have your mechanic tune your car for the way you drive!
“Yes but you can’t trust large institutions not to target you, haven’t you heard about the Target-pregnant teenager story?”
Well let’s understand that, did Target do something wrong by offering discounted products to women that needed them? I’m just wondering how many of those women walked into the store and insisted on paying full price for those items? I’m sure that no one would object to getting an offer for something that they are interested in at that point in time, would you?
Then there are the big bad banks. In fact EMC is providing a technology called Silvertail, (here), that tracks your every click on-line and works out how you behave. Scary isn’t it? Well no it isn’t, because if someone logs on as me and does not behave as me, then the technology shuts down the transaction and protects me. I like that idea that the technology is basing its assessment on the way I behave, rather than some generic model of what a ‘good’ person does. (Not saying that I’m weird, just an individual.)
Finally, you do know that your Telco knows who you are calling don’t you? In-fact some of these companies are analysing this data to see where they should place their infrastructure to improve call quality, improve their plans to attract more users like you. Perhaps even recognize me as a loyal customer and not treat me like every other person that they talk to!
In summary big data is changing the way we work, live and play.. for the better. Not only that the results of big data projects EMC’s customers have done have always been a win-win. This is not a zero sum game this is lower prices and better products and services!