Latest Commentary

News from Strata: Business users crash the party and big data turns a new corner

One of the most important things I noted at the conference: a considerable uptick in attendance of business people at an event previously thought to be a geek thing. There were a number of interesting announcements and achievements at Strata and you'll find many of them here. But if you were to ask me for a single winner in the battle of big data ideas, I would say it was...

Meet with me at Strata?

I'm hoping to see many of you at Strata this week, on the floor, in the sessions, at the parties, or just milling about. You can also find me at the "Meet the Author of 'Data Divination: Big Data Strategies'" events on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. and again at 3:30 p.m. at MetaScale's booth #439. Drop by and say hello!

Big data cynicism runs amok, winners win anyway

Do your due diligence before buying big data tools and storage, by all means. But understand that whatever profits are to be had will be delivered by virtue of your mastery of them and not their mere presence in your organization.

Julia Child, Meta Brown, and data mining mania

Meta Brown is one of the top analytics consultants in the industry and author of the just released "Data Mining for Dummies." She wrote a guest post this week on what we can learn about data mining from "The French Chef," aka Julia Child. We can learn a lot from Meta's post including how to teach anayltics to others in our organization so that data democratization doesn't go awry in the course of the spreading data mania. 


An invitation to meet at Strata and a note of consequence

Are you presenting or exhibiting at Strata in New York? Here's the best way to get your information to me for consideration of coverage. More interested in today's news in big data? We have an excellent guest post this week that you'll want to be sure to read. 

Patterns in banking personal identification numbers

Researchers have discovered that people tend to choose only a few hundred 4-digit combinations from 10,000 possible PINs. Knowing what those popular combinations are aids hackers greatly in tapping their victims' bank accounts.

US Appeals Court hears arguments for shutting down NSA database and domestic surveillance

Last week, a panel of three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit heard arguments on the ACLU vs Clapper lawsuit against the U.S. government's domestic mass surveillance activities. The ACLU argues the surveillance violates the 4th Amendment while the federal government argued that the Patriot Act renders such activities lawful.

More on the latest privacy debate: de-identification vs holding researchers legally responsible

Members of the FierceBigData community with substantial experience in addressing privacy issues responded with some outstanding insights and some actionable best practices for individual researchers.

The latest privacy debate: de-identification vs holding researchers legally responsible

While many researchers and privacy advocates hail the de-identification route to protect privacy, others say that simply won't do because anonymization makes a mess of the data sets. To make the data more open and useful, one group of researchers recommends we stop trying to de-identify private data and hold researchers responsible for protecting privacy instead. 

Are your analytics myopic? Here's how to sharpen your predictive vision

Using analytics only for internal reflection is myopic and dangerous. Why? Because you may very well find yourself improving processes and products that will soon become obsolete and understanding customers who are on their way out the door…forever.