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Big Data v Data Mining

by CEO & Chairman at Cochrane Associates on Jan 31, 2013

  • 13,261 views

There are as many views and definitions of Data Mining as there are people working in and on the topic. Confusion reigns and people ask; what is it; why do we need it; and isn’t it just Data Mining ...

There are as many views and definitions of Data Mining as there are people working in and on the topic. Confusion reigns and people ask; what is it; why do we need it; and isn’t it just Data Mining rebranded? In this slide deck and presentation we set the scene an highlight the differences and need for Data Mining in order to give a framework for case studies and future projects.

So - why do we need it?
The economic, industrial, commercial, social, political and sustainability problems we face cannot be successfully addressed using the management techniques and models largely inherited from the Industrial Revolution. The world no longer appears infinite in resources, slow paced, linear and stable. We now see the limitations; feel the impact of rapid change; and we can conceptualize the non-linear and unstable nature of it all! We are also starting to comprehend the scale and the need for machine assistance.

Modeling our situation !
Sophisticated computer models for weather systems are now complemented by ecological, economic, conflict and resource modeling of varying depth and accuracy. However, the key is always the accuracy and coverage of the primary data. We started with modest databases and data mining, but they mostly proved inadequate, and we are now amassing vast databases on every aspect of life - people, planet and machines. This ‘BIG DATA’ explosion demands a rethink of how, what, and where we gather data; the way we analyze and model; and the way we make decisions.

So - what is the big difference?
Data Mining was limited, planer, simple, linear and constrained to a few relationships amongst people: what they did, where they went, who they knew and so on. In contrast; Big Data is unbounded, spans all peoples and machines in all domains and activities with application to every aspect of life, business, industry, government and sustainability etc. It also takes into account the non-linear nature of relationships and events.

“Big Data is an almost unconscious outcome of the desire and need to sustain all peoples on a rapidly smaller looking planet”

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