Big data is a buzzword that is ambiguous and often misunderstood. But it also feels like it could be the next big thing. To open up my perspective I found myself stepping outside the echo chamber of Silicon Valley. I enrolled in a class at the Aspen Institute called Socrates. They pull together a group of around 20 people from diverse backgrounds to spend a couple days digging into a topic and sharing their experiences.
No one in my group was a specialist in big data – we had a person who worked for a family office, a mayor’s office, an investment bank, a major consulting firm, an online advertising company, a hospital, the DEA, and of course I was there as the token enterprise software guy. Prior to the seminar, we had all studied a set of fascinating readings that ranged from the story of Socrates struggling with the advent of the written word, to the implications of a world where every detail is known.