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Economics and Big Data Analytics
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Economics and Big Data Analytics

Posted by Bob EmmersonMarch 6, 2015

I’m not wild about articles that philosophize about technology: they tend to be pretentious, their primary purpose being self-aggrandisement. I’ve never gone down that road, but while reading an amazing book titled “23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism”, I changed my mind.  Ha-Joon Chang, a vocal critic of the failures of our economic system wrote it and the following para rocked me back and I felt compelled to turn it into a blog.

“We try to be rational, but our ability to be so is severely limited. The world is too complex ….  for our limited intelligence to understand fully. This means that very often the main problem we face in making a good decision is not the lack of information but our limited capability to process that information – a point nicely illustrated by the fact that the celebrated advent of the internet age does not seem to have improved the quality of our decisions, judging by the mess we are in today.”

This is part of another para from the book. “The 2008 crisis has revealed how the complexity of the world we have created, especially in the sphere of finance, has vastly outpaced our ability to understand and control it.”

Bob Emmerson

Bob Emmerson

Big data analytics can process the lorry loads of M2M information that the Net delivers, but the rock-back came not so much from “the ability to make insightful decisions based on real-time information” as the idea of realising quantum leaps, lateral thinking on a grand scale, something akin to artificial intelligence.

M2M operates in a complex world that involves big social issues such as healthcare, transportation, energy conservation and the environment. It has the proven ability to boost operational efficiency, enhance customer service, open up new business opportunities, and increase agility. So, can we expect big data analytics to generate holistic insights into the long-term potential of this remarkable set of technologies: something over and above intelligent transportation systems, smart cities and other medium-term deliverables?

I think it can. Not sure how, but I’m not holding my breath on the economy. I’d love to get your take on this idea. Interesting? Pretentious? Whatever.

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Bob Emmerson

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