Big Data, Big Dupe is a little book about a big bunch of nonsense. The story of David and Goliath inspires us to hope that something little, when armed with truth, can topple something big that is a lie. This is the author’s hope. While others have written about the dangers of Big Data, Stephen Few reveals the deceit that belies its illusory nature. If “data is the new oil,” Big Data is the new snake oil. It isn’t real. It’s a marketing campaign that has distracted us for years from the real and important work of deriving value from data.
Big Data, Big Dupe
gives a voice to the small army of data professionals who work silently and unheralded in the trenches to make sense of data. Data professionals (data analysts, statisticians, etc.) struggle to maintain focus amidst the constant distraction of Big Data nonsense. They recognize Big Data for what it is: a meaningless term, but also a well-funded marketing campaign that sends organizations on costly and wasteful pursuits. As IT vendors, consultants, and many academics sing the praises of Big Data, the real work of data sensemaking is being done by seasoned professionals using skills that they developed through years of study and practice. These skills existed long before the nonsense of Big Data arose.
If you’re one of these seasoned data professionals, buy this book, confirm that it speaks your truth, and then place copies on the desks of those whose foolish IT strategy and purchasing decisions are wasting your time and subverting your efforts. Data holds great promise, but that promise will forever remain unfulfilled by those who pursue the Big Data illusion rather than investing in the time-proven skills and hard work of data sensemaking.