Viktor Mayer-Schönberger & Kenneth Cukier – Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think

Why did I choose to read the book?

Big Data, one of the big buzzwords and game changers of our generation. Though I thought I know what it is, what it meant, its applications etc. I still wanted to know more, hence, this book.

What is it about?

Via a high level approach, this book gives laymen the chance to understand the history, current usage and potential future of big data. It tells the story of how mankind used and still uses sampling by hypothesis (and thereby biased) to be able to manage vast amounts of data, as we were not able to analyse all data at once. Now, with big data mining, we can do just that, analyse all data, n = all. Big data companies, such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn and the like, use their collected data to build new services and to learn new things about our world, our behaviours and how to identify patterns. Due to the vast amounts of data being collected (especially considering the rise of the Internet of Things – IoT), the quality of data is not as important, as patterns and conclusions can still be derived. What has to be kept in mind, when working with big data, is that big data delivers correlations, not causality. Correlations are derived from recognized patterns, answering what, but missing to answer the question of why.

How did I like the book?

Awesome book. I found it to be the perfect choice to deliver on what I set out to learn about big data. The book keeps the high level approach throughout, without going into too much detail. Perfect read, if you want to learn what the buzz is all about and you want to be able to join the conversation on this topic.