DEC 4, 2013 3:12pm ET

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Commentary

“Now What?” Challenging Big Data Assumptions

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We hear in the media that data has become the source of all answers. The future of big data is promising; we’re in a new age in which we have so much information that our decisions can practically be made for us. However, the opposite seems to be true – many decision-makers simply stare blankly at the data in front of them thinking, “Now what?”
 
Edward McQuarrie, a marketing research professor at Santa Clara University, points out a common misconception in data literacy today: that the best insight is crafted using data we have on hand.  However, in actuality more insight can be found by taking stock of internal assumptions and measuring them against the captured data. This requires the uncomfortable process of being proven wrong and adjusting one’s view accordingly. Although the difference seems subtle, the results are worlds apart.

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