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Opinion: Is Big Data All It’s Cracked Up To Be?

BIG DATA

February 25, 2013

In a column for MACLEANS.CA, Julia Belluz writes that, despite claims it can “cure cancer, transform business and government, foretell political outcomes, even deliver TV shows we didn’t know we wanted,” Big Data’s “big promises” may not have the research community sold. “Some say vast data collections—often user-generated and scraped from social media platforms or administrative databases—are not as prophetic or even accurate as they’ve been made out to be,” Belluz writes. In the example of Big Data genomics, Belluz states that "it’s hard to tell the signal from the noise.” And some are questioning the “integrity of Big Data,” Belluz writes, noting that a recent article showed that Google Flu Trends “massively overestimated the year’s flu season.”
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