How Not to Drown in Numbers

According to a May 2, 2015 story in The New York Times, “BIG data will save the world. How often have we heard that over the past couple of years? We’re pretty sure both of us have said something similar dozens of times in the past few months. If you’re trying to build a self-driving car or detect whether a picture has a cat in it, big data is amazing. But here’s a secret: If you’re trying to make important decisions about your health, wealth or happiness, big data is not enough.”

“The problem is this: The things we can measure are never exactly what we care about. Just trying to get a single, easy-to-measure number higher and higher (or lower and lower) doesn’t actually help us make the right choice…We are optimists about the potential of data to improve human lives. But the world is incredibly complicated. No one data set, no matter how big, is going to tell us exactly what we need. The new mountains of blunt data sets make human creativity, judgment, intuition and expertise more valuable, not less.”

Read the full article
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/03/opinion/sunday/how-not-to-drown-in-numbers.html?_r=0