The importance of being earnest about big data

We are deluged in big data. We have become more adept, however, at collecting it than in making sense of it. The companies, individuals and governments that become the most adept at data analysis are doing more than find the signal in the noise: they are creating a strategic capability. Why?

“After Eisenhower, you couldn’t win an election without radio.

After JFK, you couldn’t win an election without television.

After Obama, you couldn’t win an election without social networking.

I predict that in 2012, you won’t be able to win an election without big data.”

Alistair Croll, founder of bitcurrent.

In November 2012, we’ll know if his prediction came true.

All this week, I’ll be reporting from Santa Clara at the so-called “data Woodstock” that is the Strata Conference. Croll is its co-chair. You can tune in to the O’Reilly Media livestream for the conference keynotes.

For some perspective on big data and analytics in government, watch IBM’s Dave McQueeney at last year’s Gov 2.0 Summit:

Or watch how Hans Rosling makes big data dance in this TED Talk: