Commentary

Big Data Swagga

One thing I noticed during Internet Week, and especially yesterday at OMMA DDM, is that a lot of people have swagger when talking about big data. Many speak with an air of superiority. A slight, "We get it, why don't you?" attitude. I don't think that's helpful for the industry as a whole.

"We all use this term 'big data,' and it is scary…the volumes are crazy," Joe Mandese said while moderating one of the panels. 

Except, when you hear people in the industry talk about it, you would think that everyone gets it, and that big data isn't scary at all. Nobody is willing to raise their hand and I say, "This stuff confuses me." Perhaps people need to be more willing to lean on others, what with all the tech surrounding programmatic today. Too many people simply have too much Big Data Swagga.

"Being a quant is apparently the sexist job," one panelist said.

"Marketing data scientist," someone else on the panel chimed in, offering the correct title of the sexy job.

The second those words escaped the panelists' lips, underwear was being tossed up on the stage and several attendees fainted.

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2 comments about "Big Data Swagga".
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  1. Pete Austin from Fresh Relevance, May 27, 2013 at 6:33 a.m.

    It's the second time that I've seen this sort of thing. The first was at the height of the dotCom bubble, which is hardly reassuring.

  2. CJ Lengua from [x+1], May 29, 2013 at 11:07 a.m.

    Put a bunch of smart people in a room to talk about something and it gets overwrought and overthought--that's the problem here. There's a sort of hump of understanding, a period of cognitive dissonance, where we might be tempted to try to understand the full depth and breadth of what "Big Data" refers to. But most people just don't need to go so deep to appreciate what it means and what it enables. At its core, the term "Big Data" just signifies that entities interacting with millions of individuals at once now have the means to do, programmatically and at massive scale, what humans have always done in our daily lives: observe events and make decisions based on them. It's as simple as that.

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