A follow-up to my post on A/B testing being both an art and a science.
Here’s another quote from boyd and Crawford:
Big Data tempts some researchers to believe that they can see everything at a 30,000-foot view. It is the kind of data that encourages the practice of apophenia: seeing patterns where none actually exist, simply because massive quantities of data can offer connections that radiate in all directions.
This risk is beginning to become serious.
As governmental agencies start to crunch the numbers in a Big way, but with analysts no better than those working in the private sector, there’s a risk of guilt by algorithmic association.
boyd, d. and Crawford, K. (2011), Six Provocations for Big Data. Symposium on the Dynamics of the Internet and Society, September 2011.
Full text of draft paper: http://www.danah.org/papers/2012/BigData-ICS-Draft.pdf