Today’s Throwback Thursday article “Big Data And The Madness Of Crowds” was written for Forbes.com on 6/17/2014. The context deals with the madness of crowds, which was the topic of a book written by Charles Mackay in 1841. Mackay wrote of the crowd psychology that drives numerous “national delusions.” Among the various manias were the tulip bubble of the 17th century, witch mania of the 16th and 17th centuries, and alchemists who sought to turn base metals to gold.
The problem with crowd psychology is that it created an emotional feedback loop, whereby dissent is often stifled by the crowd. This article counseled about not becoming victim of big data mania and its magic wand solutions. The reader was advised that “the value of big data is in analytics that are specifically designed for your business.” Isn’t that where we are today?
March 30, 2017: Today’s Throwback Thursday article is “David Vs. Goliath: Why Little Data Will Win Over Big Data” from my Forbes.com column on May 29, 2014. The issues discussed concerning big data are now apparent today. In the Internet data scraping world, numerous marketers are now disillusioned by the hype about the quintillions of unstructured big data bits filled with bot fraud, unverifiable assumptions, unknowable demographic representations, and privacy issues. Forget the size of the data and focus first on the business issues/challenges cautions the article. Second, seek out the relevant data to better understand the business issues/challenges. Finally, apply advanced analytic processes to the relevant data to empower executives to make better evidence-based decisions to manage challenges.