Many people see big data as the solution to large societal challenges. But is this really the case? To what extend is the current interest in big data merely an example of the hype cycle, which is common to many technologies? Based on experiences in several big data projects, we explore what is truly novel about big data, and where big data might be meaningfully employed. From this, we distill two main points. First, ensuring the quality throughout the chain from data gathering through analysis and up to decision support is critical in ensuring the successful use of big data. Second, there are unavoidable tensions between the usability, desirability, and technological possibility of big data. Careful reflection on each of these is needed in any big data project.
- big data