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43 Reviews
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gives a first look at an important subject
In "Big Data", Mayer-Schönberger and Cukier discusses the shift in our society towards the ability to generate, store and analyze considerably larger amounts of data than before. There has been a trend towards more data for decades (even centuries, I suppose), but recent technological advances has given rise to a visible qualitative shift in the way which we...
Published 15 months ago by Alexander Sokol

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Read the synopsis and you have it
Initially interesting but repetitive, anecdotal and shallow. Pulp journalism about a phenomenon that warrants more intelligent debate. Not worth it.
Published 6 months ago by Tim Swanwick


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3.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction, 26 Jun 2013
By 
D. W. Kessler - See all my reviews
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Big Data is a Big Issue for everyone.
Mayer-Schonberger does an excellent job of defining it, explaining it and summarising the issues.

At times, I wanted more. More depth, examples, analysis and implications.
I felt he may have shied away from some important things in an effort to keep it light enough for the general reader.
But as a general reader myself, I wanted just a bit more.

Still: recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Explaining New Possibilities Presented Today by Crunching and Reusing Data, 29 May 2013
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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"For in much wisdom is much grief,
And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NKJV)

I believe that your reaction to this book depends totally on whether you already crunch and reuse all available data. If you do, it's old news. If you don't, you may feel that the floor has been tilted a bit in favor of those who have and know how to use the data. In the latter case, first appreciating that data-driven learning can be more valuable than theory-testing learning can be quite an eye-opener. You may not agree. Sometimes you should and sometimes you shouldn't.

If you aren't a data jock, the book has accessible examples and anecdotes that you will probably understand just fine. If you are a data jock, the content may seem, well, "Elementary, my dear Dr. Watson."

I thought the most interesting parts related to how privacy might be protected against unanticipated invasions by those who are incautious in plowing ahead without considering who will get hurt and how.

The case for not needing to know cause-and-effect is greatly overstated here. One of the best potential uses of data-driven analysis is identifying what combinations of changes may work best with one another in a new business model, an improved strategy, or an upgraded business process. If you don't understand cause-and-effect in seeking to make such improvements, you'll make a big mess most of the time. That's also true in other complex environments, such as many medical ones. The benefits of one such cause-and-effect based improvement will usually run rings around the kind of incremental enhancements described in this book from acting on merely data-driven conclusions.

I've graded the book for its value to someone who is new to the subject.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good overview - making some key points, 25 May 2013
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S. Horner - See all my reviews
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Good book - well written - which takes you through what Big Data is and what it means, illustrated throughout with good examples.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Works as an overview, but lacks detail, 8 Jun 2013
If you know absolutely nothing about Big Data and want to know what the new Buzz word in town is about then this book provide a good high level view. The bad news is that the book concentrates on *what* Big Data is about and ignores the *how* and the *why*. A bit of history about how Big Data came to be would have been nice. Instead the book gives us plenty of examples of Big Data being used. These all tend to be "Company X discovered a correlation between fact Y and fact Z that you probably wouldn't have expected". The point being we are not longer supposed to question why there is a link between Y and Z; the data is supposed to speak for its self. No justification for this point of view is ever given (none of the examples described why the researchers came to their conclusions).

This book could be used as an introduction to Big Data, but if you are expecting to come away with a detailed knowledge of any part of the subject you'll be disappointed.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Long on big statements, short on content, 18 Nov 2013
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Headline says it all. Interesting topic. Poorly written book.

This book could be trimmed to half the length for a more successful read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and thought-provoking - a must read!, 15 Jun 2013
I first met Kenn Cukier when he was the Economist correspondent in Tokyo, at the time of the Olympus scandal. Kenn enthusiastically told me about his ideas for 'Big Data' and I was honest but unintentionally hurtful in explaining that I believed there would be little general interest in what I thought was a rather dry subject. How splendidly wrong I turned out to be, and after reading `Big Data' over the last week, now have an informed understanding of the enormous potential for good but also bad that data mining provides. In a week where we learned of Edward Snowden's disturbing revelations, every thinking person should read this insightful and elegantly written book.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars very superficial, 22 July 2013
I finished this book this weekend, out of a misguided sense of obligation, and just found myself annoyed. Compared to classics such as the Signal and the Noise or even Moneyball, this book doesn't have much to offer either as useful details or new insight. It reads as a long series of anecdotes, which anybody who keeps half-way current with the popular press will have already heard about. I suppose it could serve as an introduction of sorts, although I'm not sure for whom - i wouldn't recommend it to a technologist, and any businessperson with concerns in IT should already know this stuff.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thanks for the reviews..., 28 Jan 2014
This review is from: Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think (Paperback)
Somewhat ironically I suppose, reading all of your reviews and the short excerpt provided from the book has pretty much saved me having to read the tome itself. Indeed, the review data helpfully provided by Amazon has been pretty helpful. Most of the examples I have heard about before, so the theme of company X finding out that collecting data for the purposes of Y but finding that it's actually useful in the context of Z, is the mainstream theme.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very good overview to the topic, 14 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think (Paperback)
A very good overview to the topic with a quite good references from practice point of view. Interesting examples. Requirements for a big data mindset.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good reading material, 5 Sep 2013
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First I was a bit surprised by the size of the book (rather small) but than I was even more surprised when I got hooked to it and read it within a day...

A good collection of different views on big data with some good examples. Some of them I knew before - but would not have brought them into the Big Data context. This book is less about technology as such, but about how technology has an impact on the social environment. Some computer science background is useful, but not required.
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