Lately, there have been more than a few articles concerning BIG DATA. Two, recently, have struck a cord with me.
The first, an interview with Machine learning Maestro, Michael Jordan, published in the IEEE spectrum: Why BIG DATA could be a BIG FAIL. Michael Jordan speaks of a 'BIG DATA winter' where after the initial excitement, followed by investment companies that will over promise and then, the discipline will burst. This burst is premised on the fact that the engineering and statistics have not evolved appropriately to place error bars around the predictions, to deliver predictions at a level of certainty or discover inferences at a certain level of quality.
The second is a TED Talk from Susan Etlinger. Here's the link: Susan Etlinger: What do we do with all this big data?
In the presentation, she says, "Data doesn't create meaning, we create the meaning." And follows this with, "Does the data tell us this, OR, does this result make us more successful."
As we grow as a company, and a discipline, these are wise thoughts to keep in mind. Or as Susan's and my Dad said, "Show the math!" and "Just answer the question you were asked."