The big data explosion and its implications for the research industry. It may be immense, fast and mind-bendingly varied. But researchers must remember: Big Data can no more speak for itself than the smaller sort.
We stand on the edge of the most exciting and transformative period in our industry’s history: 90 percent of the data in the world today was created in the last two years and “data taps” such as mobile, social and POS will continue to pour out raw information for us to work with at an ever faster rate.
However, if our response to the new era of data is to retreat behind number-crunching technologies, then clients and indeed humanity as a whole, will be much the worse for it. It may be tempting to conclude that human intuition must surely give way to computers and algorithms when it comes to keeping up with Big Data. But now, more than ever, we need to recognise the immense, unique power of our own minds when it comes to dealing with information – and deciding how to act on the basis of it.