A 'Gathering Of Data Scientists' Extends Its Influence

Ben Lorica is a data scientist, a person who analyzes data to gain insights.  Once known as quants, data analysts, actuaries, or any other number of unsexy terms, the appellation data scientist came into vogue with the emergence and rise of Big Data in the worlds of technology and business, and in the popular imagination.  Author Tom Davenport and then White House data science chief D.J. Patil published a 2012 Harvard Business Review article describing the data scientist as the “sexiest job of the 21st Century”.  Cool.  Lorica, after completing his Ph.D. in Mathematics, went on to a career analyzing data for investment firms and banks like Wells Fargo.  Today, Lorica is Chief Data Scientist and Program Director of the Strata Data Conference, for O’Reilly Media, a technology and business media and education firm that organizes industry events that have historically served the tech community.


Bloomberg's Data Initiative: Big Data For Social Good In 2018

Big data has become ubiquitous in recent years.  Whether it is data-driven marketing, sports analytics, political campaigns, or national security threats, data has become central to any type of informed analysis and plan of action.  Consequently, the arrival of Big data has also spawned a data industry and the emergence of data professions – data analysts, data architects, data scientists, and chief data officers.  Against this backdrop, governmental and social service organizations are following suit and initiating efforts to apply sound data practices to a range of societal challenges.  These can range from matching scarce resources to acute needs, detecting disparities in social justice administration, or the establishment of policies for ethical data usage.  Here are some of the initiatives that are being undertaken to advance data for social good as we look ahead for 2018: 


How Big Data Became "Big Bad Data"

Three years ago, in a May 2015 Wall Street Journal article entitled Tracing Some of Big Data’s Big Paradoxes, I quoted Washington University in St. Louis Law Professor Neil M. Richards in summing up the opportunities and challenges represented by Big Data, “Big Data will create winners and losers, and it is likely to benefit the institutions who wield its tools over the individuals being mined, analyzed, and sorted.”


Mastercard's Big Data For Good Initiative: Data Philanthropy On The Front Lines

Much has been written about big data initiatives and the efforts of market leaders to derive critical business insights faster. Less has been written about initiatives by some of these same firms to apply big data and analytics to a different set of issues, which are not solely focused on revenue growth or bottom line profitability. While the focus of most writing has been on the use of data for competitive advantage, a small set of companies has been undertaking, with much less fanfare, a range of initiatives designed to ensure that data can be applied not just for corporate good, but also for social good.

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Interesting Times: Business Change In An Era Of Tech Disruption

When reflecting on epochs in world history, historians often make reference to an ancient Chinese curse – “May you live in interesting times!” Today, we live in a time characterized by rapid technology transformation, and resulting social, political, and economic disruption. In its wake, few institutions have remained untouched.

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How Big Data Is Empowering AI and Machine Learning at Scale

Big data is moving to a new stage of maturity — one that promises even greater business impact and industry disruption over the course of the coming decade. As big data initiatives mature, organizations are now combining the agility of big data processes with the scale of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to accelerate the delivery of business value.

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How Companies Say They’re Using Big Data

Are companies seeing any value to their investments in “big data”? I’ve been surveying executives of Fortune 1000 companies about their data investments since 2012, and for the first time a near majority – 48.4% — report that their firms are achieving measurable results from their big data investments, with 80.7% of executives characterizing their big data investments as “successful.”

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How Women Are Shaping The Big Data Revolution

It has become abundantly clear by now. Successful business adoption of Big Data and analytics initiatives is largely a function of overcoming cultural impediments. These “cultural” factors have been the principal barrier to deriving value from data and analytics investments for most large firms.

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Companies Brace for Decade of Disruption From AI

TNow that many executives are finding measurable results from their Big Data initiatives, they are looking ahead and making decisions about investments in emerging capabilities such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

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Another Side Of Big Data: Big Data For Social Good

Over the course of the past five years I have written extensively on the topic of Big Data for distinguished publications, including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, MIT Sloan Management Review, and Harvard Business Review. My intentions in writing on the topic of Big Data have been to help shed some light and demystify this new phenomenon, and educate executives on the potential benefits and opportunities.

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Tracing Some of Big Data’s Big Paradoxes

As we push ahead to fulfill the promise of Big Data, we should bear in mind that there can be perils that reflect a dark side if we fail to act responsibly.