Monday Mar 10, 2014

Big Data is a Condition (Or, "It's (Mostly) In Your Head")

Unsurprisingly, definitions of Big Data run the gamut from the turgid to the flip, making room to include the trite, the breathless, and the simply un-inspiring in the big circle around the campfire. Some of these definitions are useful in part, but none of them captures the essence of the matter.   Most are mistakes in kind, trying to ground and capture Big Data as a 'thing' of some sort that is measurable in objective terms. Anytime you encounter a number, this is the school of thought.

Some approach Big Data as a state of being, most often a simple operational state of insufficiency of some kind; typically resources like analysts, compute power or storage for handling data effectively; occasionally something less quantifiable like clarity of purpose and criteria for management.  Anytime you encounter phrasing that relies on the reader to interpret and define the particulars of the insufficiency, this is the school of thought.

I see Big Data as a self-defined (perhaps diagnosed is more accurate) condition, but one that is based on idiosyncratic interpretation of current and possible future situations in which understanding of, planning for, and activity around data are central. 

Here's my working definition: Big Data is the condition in which very high actual or expected difficulty in working successfully with data combines with very high anticipated but unknown value and benefit, leading to the a-priori assumption that currently available information management and analytical capabilties are broadly insufficient, making new and previously unknown capabilities seemingly necessary.

Friday Dec 06, 2013

Strata New York Video: Designing Big Data Interactions With the Language of Discovery

I'm late to making it available here, but O'Reilly media published the video recording of my presentation on The Language of Discovery: A Toolkit For Designing Big Data Interactions from last year's (2012) Strata conference in NY. Looking back at this, I'm happy to say that while my thinking on several of the key ideas has advanced quite a bit in the past 12 months (see our more recent materials), the core ideas and concepts remain vital. Those are, briefly:
  • Big Data is useless unless people can engage with it effectively
  • Discovery is a critical and inadequately acknowledged aspect of sense making that is core to realizing value from Big Data
  • Discovery is literally the most important human/machine interaction in the emerging Age of Insight
  • Providing discovery capability requires understanding people's needs and goals
  • The Language of Discovery is an effective tool for understanding discovery needs and activities, and designing solutions
  • There are known patterns and structure in discovery activities that you can use to create discovery solutions
I've posted it to vimeo for easier viewing - slides are here http://www.joelamantia.com/user-experience-ux/strata-new-york-slides-new-discovery-patterns for those who wish to follow along - enjoy!

The Language of Discovery: A Toolkit For Designing Big Data Interactions (Joe Lamantia) from Joe Lamantia on Vimeo.

About

Exploring the emerging space of discovery interactions, analytics, and sensemaking.

Search

Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today