Why Big Data Isn’t Enough

There is a growing belief that sophisticated algorithms can explore huge databases and find relationships independent of any preconceived hypotheses. But in businesses that involve scientific research and technological innovation, the authors argue, this approach is misguided and potentially risky.

Sen Chai and Willy Shih

WINTER 2017

As “big data” becomes increasingly integrated into many aspects of our lives, we are hearing more calls for revolutionary changes in how researchers work. To save time in understanding the behavior of complex systems or in predicting outcomes, some analysts say it should now be possible to let the data “tell the story,” rather than having to develop a hypothesis and go through painstaking ...

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