Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think

by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Kenneth Cukier
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Overview

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, Kenneth Cukier

A revelatory exploration of the hottest trend in technology and the dramatic impact it will have on the economy, science, and society at large.

Which paint color is most likely to tell you that a used car is in good shape? How can officials identify the most dangerous New York City manholes before they explode? And how did Google searches predict the spread of the H1N1 flu outbreak?

The key to answering these questions, and many more, is big data. “Big data” refers to our burgeoning ability to crunch vast collections of information, analyze it instantly, and draw sometimes profoundly surprising conclusions from it. This emerging science can translate myriad phenomena—from the price of airline tickets to the text of millions of books—into searchable form, and uses our increasing computing power to unearth epiphanies that we never could have seen before. A revolution on par with the Internet or perhaps even the printing press, big data will change the way we think about business, health, politics, education, and innovation in the years to come. It also poses fresh threats, from the inevitable end of privacy as we know it to the prospect of being penalized for things we haven’t even done yet, based on big data’s ability to predict our future behavior.

In this brilliantly clear, often surprising work, two leading experts explain what big data is, how it will change our lives, and what we can do to protect ourselves from its hazards. Big Data is the first big book about the next big thing.

www.big-data-book.com

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544002692
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 03/05/2013
Pages: 242
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

VIKTOR MAYER-SCHÖNBERGER is Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at the Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University. The co-author of Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We, Live, Work, and Think, he has published over a hundred articles and eight other books, including Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age. He is on the advisory boards of corporations and organizations around the world, including Microsoft and the World Economic Forum.

KENNETH CUKIER is the Data Editor of the Economist and co-author of Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think. His writings on business and economics have appeared in Foreign Affairs, the New York Times, the Financial Times, and elsewhere.

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Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
popscipopulizer More than 1 year ago
*A full executive summary of this book will be available at newbooksinbrief dot com, on or before Monday, March 18, 2013. The main argument: Statistical information, or data, has long been recognized to be a potentially rich and valuable source of knowledge. Until recently, however, our ability to render phenomena and events in a quantified format, store this information, and analyze it has been severely limited. With the rise of the digital age, though, these limitations are quickly being eroded. To begin with, digital devices that record our movements and communications, and digital sensors that record the behavior of inanimate objects and systems have become widespread and are proliferating wildly. What's more, the cost of storing this information on computer servers is getting cheaper and cheaper, thus allowing us to store much more of it than ever before. Finally, increasingly sophisticated computer algorithms are allowing us to analyze this information more deeply than ever, and are revealing interesting (and often counter-intuitive) relationships that would never have been possible previously. The increasing datification of the world, and the insights that this is bringing us, may be thought of as one grand phenomenon, and it has a name: Big Data. The insights that are emerging out of Big Data are spread out over many areas, and are already affecting several aspects of society. For example, Big Data is allowing established businesses to be run more efficiently and safely, and as is also allowing for new business opportunities that were never possible before. Meanwhile, Big Data is being used by governments to help reduce costs and make society safer. While Big Data may already be bringing us impressive benefits, Mayer-Schonberger and Cukier argue that the bulk of the benefits are yet to come. Indeed, for the authors, businesses and governments are only just now waking up to the incredible potential of Big Data. And as they direct more attention to recording and analyzing data streams, the potential uses of the information will only multiply. On the negative side, while Big Data may have enormous potential benefits, it also carries substantial potential dangers. Most notably, as more and more information about us is recorded, kept and used, our privacy is increasingly threatened. For the authors, a good deal of oversight will be needed in order to ensure that the potential abuses of Big Data are curbed. The book is well written and represents a fine overview of the present and future of Big Data. Also, the authors do well to raise important big-picture issues related to the phenomena, though the potential impacts (both positive and negative) are occasionally overblown. All in all the book is a good introduction to an important and interesting topic. A full executive summary of the book will be available at newbooksinbrief dot com, on or before Monday, March 18; a podcast discussion of the book will be available shortly thereafter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For the reader that has heard about "big data" and wants an easy read, I would recommend this book. I found it helpful in providing a well rounded description of what big data is, the positives and negatives of big data, and especially liked the historical examples. It was fascinating to this reader, again to learn that all that separate our distant ancestors with today's society is the level of technology we rely on. Their out of the box reflection is still enduring today, just as innovative, just working within a more primative environment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a high-altitude view of big data, and has many interesting examples. Most people will find something surprising here, and it will certainly make you think about the many ways our culture and style of living encourages big data, and its collection and use. Part of the book discusses using heaps of anonymous data to discern public trends. It also discusses using personally identifiable data to make assumptions about individuals. This is a very non-technical book; there is nothing about how data analytics works or what an analyst does. For me, these topics could have replaced some of the repetitive examples. The difficult issues of ethics, privacy, legality, and security of big data are only lightly considered. The gist of the book is America-centric, and doesn't go into issues that might arise globally. Overall, it's a good read and a good way to get you thinking about the many aspects of big data.
jab1JB More than 1 year ago
An email sent from B & N is a perfect example of Big Data. Welcome to the technological world we're racing into. As a culture, we've been trying to collect data for decades, if not longer, but now figuring out how to use so much of it to our advantage...and come to a point were we can collect much more of it and save it so cheaply. The data from my activity on this site, anywhere on the internet plus some is being saved. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, but get used to it. We're now in a time where data/knowledge is an asset to be put on the books. As far as this read, the book is all technical, historical, & theoretical rolled into one. I've enjoyed it, and would recomend it to anyone to get an idea of where things are heading. If anything, use the information given as model by which to view the world in context. Take it or leave it...whether you think you are being spied upon, or just seen as a discrete number/address are your own feelings...but all in all it seems like there's a much richer knowledge of our society in general to be gained over time with all this data in hand.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago