30 Posts In 30 Days

I’m a slow writer. A deliberate, plodding wordsmith. All of that is true except the wordsmith part. And the deliberate, plodding bit. I’m a procrastinator. To fix this, I’m going to write something about big data every day for the entire month of June. Not just working days, every day. It won’t be genius. Much […]

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Another Convert To Bigdataism

Tom Davenport, research fellow at the MIT Center for Digital Business, makes a confession on page two of his new book Big Data At Work. He was a big data skeptic. A doubter. In fact, he says, he considered taking his previous books and just doing a global replace of analytics with big data and […]

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Because Data Science

In a famous lecture, the great physicist Richard Feynman defined the key to science. “If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong.” He added that someone’s fame or credentials can’t make a wrong idea right. If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. Because science. From the earliest days of science, when it was still called natural […]

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Strategy In A Big Data World

Strategy is creating a unique value in a unique way. I learned this while working on a project with Michael Porter, the world’s foremost authority on competitive strategy. The video above tells the story. Or you can read this. If you create a unique product or service by doing things a rival could copy, you […]

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Flatworms and Erdös with Bacon

On June 4th this year we’ll celebrate the 15th anniversary of a famous letter to the journal Nature. Start planning your Small World Day festivities now. In 1998, Duncan Watts and Steven Strogatz wrote about a nifty little effect in networks. Most networks, including the neurons of a flatworm, mathematical paper citations, and Hollywood are neither […]

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All The World’s A Graph

Last week saw two big announcements about searching graphs. There was Facebook’s graph search which helps you discover, say, married people who like prostitutes. And there was the revelation that people in public DNA projects can be individually identified. These two events are in fact the same thing. Welcome to the miracle of graphs. Graph […]

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More Is Different

What’s the difference between a hydrogen atom and the sun? Between a glass of water and the ocean? More. When we move from a small amount of stuff to a big amount of stuff, quantitative changes become qualitative changes. The difference between 8oz of water and 321 million cubic miles of it, between one hydrogen atom […]

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