1. Introduction

Raw Data, the New Oil

“Data is the new oil”1 has become a common mantra among today’s Big Data proponents. However, Clive Humby, the founder of dunnhumby (the well-known retail analytics arm of Tesco Supermarkets in the UK), has also said that “[data] unrefined cannot really be used.” For this reason, many skeptics argue that Big Data is not new and is really just a fad. Before you are convinced of the importance or insignificance of Big Data, let’s try to use the “data as oil” analogy and show you the remarkable impact oil has had on every aspect of life across the world and (by inference) data.

1 http://ana.blogs.com/maestros/2006/11/data_is_the_new.html

If you look at a photo taken in New York in the late nineteenth century, ...

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