Thursday, April 18, 2013

Data Science vs. Data Intelligence

Sean Gourley gave a very interesting talk at GigaOm's Structure Data conference last month.  I have repeated his ideas around data science vs. data intelligence in several conversations. (Stacey Higginbotham does a great job distilling the talk here - the full talk is embedded below.)

He lays out the idea in one simple chart:

He also provides a few rules of the road about data:

  • Data needs to be designed for human interaction
  • Understand limits of human processing
  • Data is messy, incomplete, and biased
  • Data needs theory
  • Data needs stories...  Stories need data
I have seen first hand bubble-like aspirations for what "big data" plus "data science" can offer.  Because the technologies are new, and so many are now becoming aware of the power of high-end statistics and machine learning, data science is perceived to be larger than it actually is for may.  

It is a tool, a method to solve problems big and small.  It isn't an answer.

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