Last week’s blog introduced a new book, “Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How Live, Work and Think,” that I like a lot. Starting from the current obsession with datafication – “taking information about all things under the sun…and transforming it into a data format to make it quantified” – Big Data identifies three major developments, incredibly large data sets, acceptance of messy data, and a tolerance for correlation in lieu of causation, as drivers of the revolution. From Big Data’s perspective, the business and social implications of these shifts are substantial.

The value of data is evolving. Historically seen as ancillary, “in the age of big data, all data will be regarded as valuable, in and of itself.” Indeed, “data’s value needs to be considered in terms of all possible ways it can be deployed in the future, not simply how it is used in the present …Ultimately, the value of data is what one can gain from all the possible ways it can be deployed.” The “option value” of data is the sum of those possibilities.

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