Speaking at OMMA DDM in New York this afternoon, John Simpson, managing director, Blue State Digital, said, "…It'll be the year of big data for 10 more years." He commented that if you can't answer the question of what you want to do with data, it becomes meaningless. It's all about context. We've heard that before.
W. Bryan Smith, director, data science and analytics, Sapient, shared some insight on "wasted" or meaningless data, as well.
First, he described data as a collection of observations of a complex system that couldn't be understood through "simple observations." He said that there is method to the madness…sometimes.
He said that sometimes, people collect data for no reason other than, well, peer pressure. He remarked that sometimes people are collecting data simply because they feel like they are missing something important if they don't collect it - even if they end up doing nothing with it.
The gist: figure out why you want the data before you start collecting it.