Big Data

In an article titled “Trending: The Promises and Challenges of Big Social Data” writer Lev Manovich discusses the pros and cons of big data. If you are like me, you may be wondering what big data is.

I’m glad you asked…

Big data, according to,  is “Our ability to capture, warehouse, and understand massive amounts of data is changing science, medicine, business, and technology. As our collection of facts and figures grows, so will the opportunity to find answers to fundamental questions.” Basically it is taking a large amount of internet information and trying to find connections between all of this endless data. This is a humongous ongoing task that requires a lot of time and effort for upkeep. Of course all of this information can be a big problem as the older system essentially is folding in on itself in order to create a better system. 

Like trying to find a needle in a haystack

Manovich also explains that we used to look at data in two different manners, “surface” and “deep.” They stay true to their names as surface data only skims the top and covers a wider census whereas deep goes in depth with a smaller more manageable census. Having access to all of this information can be overwhelming. However, it is not the amount of information that matters,but how different organizations utilize this data. This data can be very insightful to those that need it, but can be a pain to find.

Manovich shares that only social media sites have access to this trending information to gain better insight on their users. Ever see a weird ad on the side of your Facebook page? This mainly stems from what you search for and those around you. I am not completely familiar with the idea of big data but I do realize that it effects me in more ways than one. I believe that if effects everyone too. Through these not so subtle advertisements shown throughout major social media sites, many people may be swayed in one direction or another from the ad. Big data shows us how information is gathered to help understand society.


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