The Future of Big Data: Distilling Less Knowledge Per Bit


Until recently, the word data didn’t require a modifier. But we passed a watershed moment when we started referring to big data. Apparently, that wasn’t a sufficient description for some chunks of data, because people grasped for bolder terms, such as humongous data. Sadly, now, it appears that we have run out of appropriate adjectives. And yet data keeps getting bigger and bigger.

So instead of mentioning data, people have begun waving their hands and talking vaguely about the “cloud.” This seems to be the perfect metaphor—a mystical vapor hanging over Earth, occasionally raining information on the parched recipients below. It is both unknowable and all-knowing. It answers all questions, if only we know how to interpret those answers.

Read more at IEEE Spectrum