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Publisher's Summary

Oxford professor and author Viktor Mayer-Schönberger joins Economist data editor and commentator Kenneth Cukier to deliver insight into the hottest trend in technology. "Big data" makes it possible to instantly analyze and draw conclusions from vast stores of information, enabling revolutionary breakthroughs in business, health, politics, and education. But big data also raises troubling social and privacy concerns sure to be a major talking point in the years ahead.
©2013 Viktor Mayer-Schöberger and Kenneth Cukier (P)2013 Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Michael on 09-01-13

Pretty light stuff on Big Data

If you don’t know anything about big data, this might be a fine introduction to the subject, but for those who have not been living under a rock this was pretty light stuff. Big Data is a survey and brief history of big data, how it is being, and will be, used and finally some warnings about how big data could be abused. There are a few examples of how big data has been used effectively but there is not much in the way of details or deep analysis. The one exception was a lot of words spent worrying about big data and punishing people based upon predictions and the possible loss of personal responsibility and accountability. This was a little hyped for me. I learned more about big data from reading the Wikipedia entry. This was nicely narrated and largely mildly interesting.

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66 of 67 people found this review helpful


By Gary on 06-29-13

Not really that much of substance

The book itself illustrates its points with good stories and examples. There's really not that much to the story. Data exist and were getting more of it. Tools for analyzing it exist and they are getting better. We will use the data to our advantage when available. A full book to tell that story wasn't necessary.

We have more data and better tools to analyze them then ever before. That alone doesn't make us special as the theme of the book seems to tell us. That's as true today as well as everyday for the last 400 years or so. A lot our previous ways of thinking about the world were limited by the amount of data we had and the tools we had to analyze that data. Now days, because of the data and tools available, the what (i.e. correlation) can be more important than the how (i.e. causation) and decisions can proceed based on just the correlation and not necessarily understanding the reason for the causation. That doesn't mean we can ignore the how, but we don't always have to understand the reasons behind things when we look at all the data and see the correlations pop out. This is a big theme of the book.

A good narrator like this one makes a mediocre book good.

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25 of 25 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Sebastian S on 04-27-16

Great introduction

I really enjoyed this book. It gave really powerful insight into a world of data and how it is governing our lives.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By faisdenous on 11-30-14

Great starting point

Would you listen to Big Data again? Why?

I might listen to the first few chapters again to note down some of the examples and use them during my presentations.

What other book might you compare Big Data to, and why?

This is the first of the set of books that I am reading on Big Data.

Which character – as performed by Jonathan Hogan – was your favourite?

The story of the guy who joined Amazon to help people find books was very interesting.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes,but I was able to listen to this book in a week

Any additional comments?

This book demystifies Big Data and busts certain myths people may have about it. After reading the book you know what to expect from Big Data. May be a chapter on what to do next for people wanting to know more about Big Data and how to get started on it might have been helpful.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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