If the health geek tribe had its own “Most Viewed” ranking on the New York Times site today, “Big Data is Great. But So Is Intuition” by Steve Lohr would be near the top. Everyone I respect (who’s awake, reading, and sharing) is tweeting about it.
Big Data proponents point to the Internet for examples of triumphant data businesses, notably Google. But many of the Big Data techniques of math modeling, predictive algorithms and artificial intelligence software were first widely applied on Wall Street… The problem is that a math model, like a metaphor, is a simplification.
Read the whole column — the online version contains links to background material on all the people and articles mentioned. But also consider the specific implications for health and health care. And be assured that others have been thinking critically about Big Data, too.
For example, my post last June about IBM Watson’s foray into medicine generated a spirited debate in the comments about what source material Watson would be fed and what other models might emerge to take advantage of health care data. Strata Rx 2012 featured multiple speakers on data & analytics, as did the Wired Health Conference: Living By Numbers.
Let’s keep the conversation going — and not just by RT’ing Lohr’s column. What other examples of Big Data hype do you see? What examples of Big Data’s promise do you see, as well? Where can people learn more about Big Data’s role in health and health care?