DEC 20, 2013 5:00am ET

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Big Data, Little Happiness


In the legends of Greece, Dionysus holds a special place as the god of winemaking, ritual madness and ecstasy. According to the stories, Dionysus once granted King Midas a token of good favor. King Midas wished that whatever he touched should turn into gold. The boon was granted, and to King Midas’ great joy, everything he touched turned into the precious metal. But it was too much of a good thing, and soon fortune turned to misery as he turned his daughter into lifeless gold. Or so the legend says. Perhaps King Midas should have reflected first and asked for happiness instead.

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Comments (3)
I think this is an excellent article, that clearly describes the issue with big data. Begin with the end in mind is a very good one. Less = more could be another good one too. When you define where you want to end in two, three, four or five years, then you can define your strategy and the kind of data you need. The rest is all distraction / a waste of time. Big data can be very useful, but we should not overdo it.
Posted by Marcel W | Friday, December 20 2013 at 12:01PM ET
This article hits the nail on the head on the ability of the business to extract value from big data. Excellent! And for three key points on the ethics of big data collection and use, see my blog "Sex, Toys and Big Data" at, in order to increase the world store of happiness!
Posted by Barry D | Tuesday, December 24 2013 at 10:16AM ET
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