The use of data will define competitive advantages…


“The field of [big data] draws on findings from statistics, databases, and artificial intelligence to construct tools that let users gain insight from massive data sets.”

– Michael Pazzani, Intelligent Systems

Pazzani’s quote was originally published in February 1999 and did not reference big data; it referenced knowledge discovery and data mining (KDD). In the ’90s, there was considerable excitement around KDD, a new field of analysis that seemed poised to revolutionize the way we make decisions. Fast forward 15 years or so, and KDD is firmly entrenched within the plateau of productivity; it has profoundly changed the way that organizations and institutions answer questions.

Like KDD, big data’s potential resides within its ability to help us make better decisions and, like KDD, big data is part technological innovation and part cultural evolution. Whether big data is something completely new, an iteration of KDD or simply a fad is a…

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