What is the Question?

The answer I’m sure is innovation.

Practically the first thing to do is figure out the questions to ask. Don’t stick to just questions that are hanging out there already needing to be answered, but create new questions that you couldn’t answer before you had your Big Data. Don’t forget that the data you have isn’t limited to what’s in-house, you can find and mashup “tons” of public, government, and licensed data sets.

Data mining, just like data visualization, is as much art as science…

When You Have a Traditional Question, All Data Looks Traditional

Mine near Woodburn, Oregon

Old Mine - Image by OSU Special Collections & Archives via Flickr

Is the challenge simply to map and reduce the Big Data into smaller data so we can look at it the same way we always have? So we can support the same business processes, the same decision-making? Answer the same questions but at larger scale perhaps?

The real challenge to think differently – to ask different questions that can only be answered by unlocking the Big Information spread over the Big Data. The whole process from data gathering through mining, analysis and visualization and presentation needs to be designed to help create and answer these new and different questions.

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