The impact of “Big Data” on how we do science is being debated in many fields, but this week I thought it would be good to step a bit and see a wider picture. My colleague Kirk Borne gave this TEDx talk in February of this year, on the topic of Big Data in the context of small world phenomena. That is, how Big Data are making the world a smaller place. The talk is intended for a general audience, but practicing scientists will appreciate the context.
He pointed out how rapidly data volumes are expanding, and while this may be intimidating, it provides a big opportunity to discover new phenomena. If you are looking for a career or a career change, note Kirk’s remarks on the growth on technical careers in Big Data management and analysis.
He gives examples of three classes of discovery in the business world:
- Novelty Discovery – brand new phenomena.
- Class Discovery – new classes of phenomena.
- Association Discovery – the unusual relationships between items; the proverbial six degrees of separation – now down to four courtesy of social networks.