Big Data Is Hot Air, Says Wharton MBA Prof

While many businesses are predicting big money from Big Data, Peter Fader thinks that today's data analysis tools serve us quite well. There is actually little to gain with more data. 

What's the Latest Development?

Many tech start ups and advertising firms are predicting big things from Big Data, but gathering unprecedented amounts of personal information, mostly through people's smartphones, will not prove as lucrative as they think, said Wharton business school professor Peter Fader. "Too many people think that mobile is a 'whole new world,' offering stunning insights into behaviors that were inconceivable before," said Fader. "But many of the basic patterns are surprisingly consistent across these platforms." In other words, thanks to electronic data, we already understand a good deal about how people behave. 

What's the Big Idea?

At the dawn of Big Data, when information was rolling in but nobody had developed methods for analyzing it all, there was a sense that every piece of information could one day yield important discoveries. That day is gone, said Fader. Today, we have many effective tools for analyzing data, allowing data scientists to keep just the important figures they need. Beware the Big Data zealot with a 'data fetish', warned Fader, describing anyone who wants to keep every piece of data, hoping that it may "someday" yield something of value.

Photo credit:

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less