Executive Briefings

There's Big Risk of 'Cherry Picking' What's Useful in Big Data, Analyst Warns

Big data may seem to promise big insights to users, but more isn't always better, cautions statistician Nate Silver, who became one of America's most well-known faces of data analysis after his FiveThirtyEight blog accurately predicted 2012 presidential election results in all 50 states.

There's Big Risk of 'Cherry Picking' What's Useful in Big Data, Analyst Warns

The more data there is, "the more people can cherry pick" data points that confirm what they want it to show, he said.

Abundant data is a notable problem in politics, where many have an interest in the outcome. But it's also an issue in fields ranging from medicine - where many researchers and journals would rather see studies showing an interesting result than a confirmation of no news - to earthquake prediction.

It turns out that along with real insight, Big Data can bring "a lot of spurious correlations" - what appear to be relationships between things that are just random noise, Silver said.

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Keywords: supply chain management, supply chain solutions, supply chain management IT, misuse of analytics, skewed Big Data analysis

The more data there is, "the more people can cherry pick" data points that confirm what they want it to show, he said.

Abundant data is a notable problem in politics, where many have an interest in the outcome. But it's also an issue in fields ranging from medicine - where many researchers and journals would rather see studies showing an interesting result than a confirmation of no news - to earthquake prediction.

It turns out that along with real insight, Big Data can bring "a lot of spurious correlations" - what appear to be relationships between things that are just random noise, Silver said.

Read Full Article


Keywords: supply chain management, supply chain solutions, supply chain management IT, misuse of analytics, skewed Big Data analysis

There's Big Risk of 'Cherry Picking' What's Useful in Big Data, Analyst Warns