Archive for June, 2015

In the previous post, I gave some of the reasons why I hate Big Data. In this post, I’d like to talk about Big Data’s modest and more human cousin: medium data.

I’m sure someone out there has already coined the term and it’s acquired a particular definition in the argot of IT consultants. But at the time of writing it’s not yet in general use, so I’ll take the opportunity to appropriate the term “medium data” and tell you what it means to me.


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why I hate Big Data

There’s a lot of noise about Big Data, with much of it in the energy space. The rise of the Internet of Things, self-learning thermostats, the success of O-Power – all are linked to the generation and automated processing of massive datasets.

The hype machine promises that Big Data will solve all sorts of problems and make the world a better place.

But hype or no hype, personally I hate Big Data.

I can hear the sharp intake of breath at Guru’s PR company, who’ve done a great job getting press coverage for “Big Data” work that we’ve done for the Department for Energy and Climate Change. Bear with me guys, I’ll explain in this post.

First, a clarification of terms: there’s a tendency to refer to any large dataset as Big Data, even when it isn’t. If you’re not sure what Big Data is, here’s a nice background piece by Tim Harford, the FT’s undercover economist.

So what’s wrong with Big Data? Here are some examples:


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