"Big Data, Big Dupe" is a little book about a big bunch of nonsense. The story of David and Goliath inspires us to hope that something little, when armed with truth, can topple something big that is a lie. This is the author’s hope. While others have written about the dangers of Big Data, Stephen Few reveals the deceit that belies its illusory nature. If “data is the new oil,” Big Data is the new snake oil. It isn’t real. It’s a marketing campaign that has distracted us for years from the real and important work of deriving value from data.
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About the Author
Stephen Few is the founder of the IT consultancy Perceptual Edge. With 35 years of experience in the field, he harbors an ardent love/hate relationship with IT. The world is inundated with far too many unneeded and poorly designed IT products. The great promise of IT is being undermined by an irresponsible industry and poorly skilled practitioners. He advocates a more thoughtful, ethical, human-focused, skills-based, and design-oriented revolution in IT to reduce the waste, prevent further harm, and set our feet once and for all on the path to an “information age” worthy of the name.
He speaks, teaches, and consults around the world and writes the quarterly "Visual Business Intelligence Newsletter." He is also the author of four other books: "Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten," "Information Dashboard Design: Displaying Data for At-a-Glance Monitoring," "Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis," and "Signal: Understanding What Matters in a World of Noise."
Table of Contents
Note to Readers x
Introduction-Big Data, Big Whoop 1
Why bother exposing the emperor's nakedness?
Chapter 1 Big Data, Big Confusion 5
Big Data lacks meaning. It has never had a commonly accepted definition.
Chapter 2 Big Data, Big Illusion 21
No matter which of Big Data's competing definitions you choose, there is no evidence that it actually exists.
Chapter 3 Big Data, Big Ruse 31
Big Data is nothing but a marketing campaign that was designed to put money in the pockets of technology vendors and their collaborators.
Chapter 4 Big Data, Big Distraction 41
Pursuing Big Data distracts us from doing what's actually needed to derive value from data.
Chapter 5 Big Data, Big Regression 47
Many of Big Data's claims lead us backwards into a less-enlightened age.
Chapter 6 Big Data, Big Brother 61
Big Data is being used to conceal and justify dangerous misuses of our personal data.
Epilogue-Big Data, Big Dare 69
We must abandon Big Data to begin using data in effective ways.