Is Big Data a Slippery Slope?

“I know one thing; that I know nothing.”

These words were famously attributed to Socrates in one of Plato’s accounts of the philosopher, a phrase that now comes to represent the Socratic paradox. While it is contested whether Socrates actually said these words, the meaning is still poignant, indicating that the wisest people are the ones who don’t assume to know all, who keep an open mind, and who “know when they know nothing.”

With the rise of Big Data, we now have more information at hand than ever before. Some might even say that we know more now than we ever have before — and this is dangerous thinking. Tom Goodwin, head of innovation at Zenith Media and Forbes contributor, would likely agree.

“We overestimate the importance of what we know, rather than focus on what this data makes clear we don’t actually know. The more you know, the more you know you don’t know,” he says in his post, “The Dark Side of Big Data.” “Above all I’m concerned we believe that big data is used as a cure all, we’ve somehow assumed that it will solve all our problems and I think that the reality doesn’t meet the hype and …

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