The real challenge ahead of us is not accumulating more information, or processing more information, or analytics, or replacing relational databases, or scaling data (i.e. not the 3 Vs). The real challenge is solving the information glut problem. Big data is another code word for the technology underlying the information age. It can be directed to make information overload worse by surfacing everything, everywhere, all the time, or it can be directed at making information more useful by making it more manageable and directed. This talk shows some of the history of information explosions and their subsequent effects on use, i.e. reading and writing, remembering, etc. and translates a few of the abstract patterns used in the past to the present era of big (and not big) data tools and technology. The goal is point out the still unfilled gaps in our information processing and delivery environments and encourage focus on these areas when doing a project or when considering what features to build into a new tool.
I design and build analysis and decision support systems, and building data management and access infrastructure. Research focus these days is on analysis techniques, emerging technology and practices in analytics, BI, information management, user experience for data access & delivery applications. I speak at a lot of conferences on anything data, with a bunch of history of science and technology mixed in.
I focus on two types of work: using data to make decisions and manage organizations, and building data technology infrastructure. A big part of making decisions and using data in a corporate setting is ensuring that the right data capture and data delivery infrastructure is in place to manage the business. As a result, I do as much information strategy and IT architecture work as I do performance management and decision support.
My spare-time projects involve research on history of communication technology adoption and fieldwork in ecology, specializing in botany.
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