Digital Media

Big Data: The Problem To The Solution

Blog Cover Image Big Data 2

In this digital age, everything we see, touch or do seems quantifiable and qualifiable as data even with lifestyle apps and IoT devices being connected to us almost 24/7. From the time we wake up to the time we go back to bed, our lives are revolving around data and with data. 

But with so much data around us and within us, how do we manage this and how do we really make sense out of all this? This is where some ingenious engineers developed layers and layers of algorithms to try to crunch figures to churn out something meaningful for us or businesses to use. They call this Big Data solutions. With the right sets of data and the right analytical program, we actually might be able to filter and sort a whole bunch of data into something useful. This opens up zillions of possibilities not just for businesses but also each individual in tackling our real world issues.

But does big data create a solution for us? Or does it create more problems for us instead? 

Data of my data

How many of us would like to expose the skeletons in our cupboards these days? And it isn’t just for us to see but the buyers who bought our data. Data, and not money, makes the world go round in this digital age. All e-commerce sites or businesses want to be part of our digital and social lives these days just to earn as much money from each of us. 

This encourages our data service providers and lifestyle database platforms, our primary source of internet, to observe and mine our usage trends, site visits and more only to sell them to the highest bidders. But here’s the problem, is it ethically right to do so? 

“I cookie-you with my little eye…”

Big data if used correctly can provide some rationally put solution but if it is done with negative intent, it can be detrimental both in the internet realm and the real world. These days, every site or blog page keeps force feeding our devices with a cookie to track what word searches we have made in the past as well as which websites we have been to frequently. All this just to gather data for the big data crunch and driving internet traffic. But are there any checks and audits on the safety of the cookies and or is there any malicious intent hidden within these cookies? 

Data data everywhere but not a byte to use

Ever wondered that if big data solutions really did create solutions, then why are we still stuck in the same traffic on the same routes at the same time every work day? And if big data solutions could weed out every bit of information of a bad guy like we see in the movies, why do we still have crime or vice activities in our neighbourhood? 

Perhaps the real problem is that most businesses and users aren’t ready for big data both in analytical, ethical and technological capacity. As pointed out by Alex Trinidad, maybe the problem isn’t with the big data itself but rather the users and the way we perceive instead.

True and fair view of data

Let’s ask ourselves, how much of our data published on our online avatars are really real? How many of us actually use our real names or identities in our social media accounts? So how would big data solutions actually give us the real answers if half the data in the internet world is fake? Big data solutions could simply be finding the same needle in a bigger haystack with junk inside!

Data protection to pro-data protection

World governments are becoming increasingly cautious against each other as if the cold war has now advanced into a digital war. Each country is now putting measures in place to safeguard their nation’s data assets. This restricts the level of data obtainable incapacitating big data solutions that have global interests. Vice versa, cookies and big data solutions could be used by political entities or governments to track or eliminate its rivals. Either or, they would simply use the weight of the legislature gavel to pound out any form of dissent or digital content that is ‘invasively sensitive’ to them. This further blocks the effectiveness of big data.

The question of a question

Big data solutions can give us more room for questions than answers. It’s like reading a whole book from front to back then turning the book upside down and reading back to front again and asking ourselves, did we just re-data the wheel? Although the ultimate objective of big data solutions is to solve ‘million dollar questions’, it seems that with every level of analysis we are creating a million questions more. 

Predicting the unpredictable 

Nature and human emotions have one thing in common, their unpredictability. Despite all the algorithms we humans design for our big data solutions, we can never make a learned guess of what happens when nature strikes back or when us humans have a bad hair day. Take a look at the what is happening in the real world today and how these events affect our usage of data. 

Big data solutions simply cannot analyse these in our lifetime given our current level of technology and analytical software capabilities. If artificial intelligence did have this heightened level of analogy to process even these unpredictabilities, big data solutions would be revered to as a god.

Conclusion

In my opinion, big data is all but a promise for a solution to our real life problems. But such an ideal is no better than hoping for our comic book superheroes to save our real world. Real life problems should be solved with real life solutions and not data.

Calysta Hannah - Line Separator

Next Read: Top 10 Big Data Issues & How To Solve Them

Calysta Hannah - Next Read

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