Posts in category: big data

The problem with data

Don Hamparian

2017-05-25 Trouble-With-Data

We’re being inundated with data. That’s what we’re told, right? We hear all the time how many exabytes of new data are being created every day. There’s just one problem: maybe none of it is the data we actually need.

I recently had the opportunity, along with several of my OCLC colleagues, to attend the Electronic Resources and Libraries (ER&L) Conference. I’ve been going to this great conference for the last two years, and each year it offers a really valuable look into how libraries manage e-resources. This year, several topics across multiple presentations led me to the conclusion that actionable data is actually pretty hard to find and even harder to wrangle successfully.

Read More


With big data, answers drive questions

Andreas Schmidt

2017-03-28-With-Big-Data-Answers-Drive-Questions

Usually, when we search for a solution, we start with a question and then seek out answers. According to Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, one of the plenary speakers at the 2017 OCLC EMEA Regional Council Meeting in Berlin, big data flips that equation on its head.

Tying into the event’s theme, “Libraries at the Crossroads: Resolving Identities,” Viktor explained that big data is all about gaining new perspectives on the world. It is revolutionizing what we see and how we process information. And he explained that with big data, we start with answers—what the data tells us—and then go back to fill in appropriate questions and hypotheses.

As a Professor at Oxford University’s Internet Institute and author of Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think, Viktor also explained that every additional data point is an opportunity to boost customer services and find new synergies. He talked about the quantity of big data translating into a new capability to make sense of patterns.

Read More


Transforming data into impact

Skip Prichard

2016-02-03 Skip intro post 4

Last September, I found an interesting Forbes article, “20 Mind-Boggling Big Data Facts Everyone Must Read.” Most of them were of the “very big numbers” variety; how many billions of connected devices there are, how many photos we took on our smartphones last year, how much is being invested in big data projects, etc. I think we’ve gotten used to the idea that “big data” is really big.

The only fact on the Forbes list I found really “mind-boggling” was the last one: that of all the data collected in the world, only about half a percent is ever analyzed.

Read More