“Big data” is a pernicious buzz word of our age, responsible for scores of hastily assembled PowerPoints in board rooms and classrooms throughout the world. That haste reveals shallowness of thought, an over-reliance on supposedly empirical and objective “data” to elucidate the mysteries of human existence. That such an expectation is impossible is not lost on humanists, which I still fancy myself to be despite a career spent in health sciences libraries.
That career has placed me within computationally intensive academic health care enterprises. My employers have sought to mine patient care notes and health profiles to improve the delivery of care across a system as well as individual patient outcomes. These efforts are big data without the marketing spin, and as such they have earned my support. They represent an intelligent application of data mining tools, in order to address real-world challenges. Although “big data” as an intellectual construct is fatuous, data mining as a practical skill is valuable.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: blogs.lse.ac.uk