Myth 3: Big Data Yields Certainty
A well-trodden business aphorism is, “I have all of the data I can handle. I just need more information.” In Too Big to Ignore, I write about the difficulty of being truly certain about business decisions of any import. It’s virtually impossible to be completely sure about a merger, product launch, new venture or even an individual employee hire. But isn’t big data supposed to help us with uncertainty? Yes, but don’t confuse reducing uncertainty with eliminating it. That day isn’t here yet, and I suspect that it won’t arrive anytime soon. Analyzing petabytes of unstructured data may well help companies better understand customer sentiment. However, don’t make the mistake of assuming that big data eliminates all variability. The fluctuations of life and business will still throw a wrench into the best laid plans.