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Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think
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Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  8,355 ratings  ·  711 reviews
A revelatory exploration of the hottest trend in technology and the dramatic impact it will have on the economy, science, and society at large.

Which paint color is most likely to tell you that a used car is in good shape? How can officials identify the most dangerous New York City manholes before they explode? And how did Google searches predict the spread of the H1N1 flu
Hardcover, 242 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Thanh Tran in my opinion, just go fast thrown it. After that, you can read again the chapter you liked.
Beside that, follow author on twitter also good with me :)…more
in my opinion, just go fast thrown it. After that, you can read again the chapter you liked.
Beside that, follow author on twitter also good with me :)(less)

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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  8,355 ratings  ·  711 reviews

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Jul 10, 2013 rated it liked it
I chose to read this book because it is one of the more visible examples of a trade business/ technology book about some recent changes in the data/information business. The key intuition that this book is highlighting is a shift towards greatly increased production of data and greatly increased use of large nearly complete population levels data sets in the management and control of a range of industries. This change is fueled by the wide adoption of broadband internet services and significant ...more
Jul 26, 2013 rated it liked it
This book was interesting initially but became a bit repetitive overall. It has three major points in it;

1. Sampling was important when collecting data was expensive and difficult, but we now we have access by one means or another to all data.

2. Since we have so much data, the quality of individual data points is not important and we can allow inexactness in measurement processes as long as there isn't a systematic bias.

3. Causality and understanding why things happen is no longer as important
Rob Kitchin
May 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
In 2008 the term ‘big data’ was barely in use. Five years later and it has become latest ICT-related buzzword, used to refer to the recent surge in the generation of huge quantities of diverse and dynamic data produced by social media, transactions and interactions across the internet, sensor and camera networks, a myriad software-enabled devices, scientific equipment, etc. Mayer-Schonberger and Cukier’s book aims to provide an initial survey and analysis of the big data phenomena and what they ...more
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Chapter two of this book starts by telling us the three things the book will be about:

“The first is the ability to analyse vast amounts of data about a topic rather than be forced to settle for smaller sets. The second is a willingness to embrace data’s real-world messiness rather than privilege exactitude. The third is the growing respect for correlations rather than a continuing quest for elusive causality.”

And that is exactly what this book does – it discusses each of these points more or les
David Adams
Apr 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: not recommended
Shelves: not-recommended
I just stopped reading this book at page 143 and I don't plan on continuing. The book is padded and repetitive plus most of the examples have already been published in articles. As another reviewer stated book... "it could've been reduced to a single feature-length article with links to prior stories"

Strange Statements:

-"Data has become a raw material for business... The data can reveal secrets to those with the humility, willingness, and the tools to listen"
Is this book about Data Science or di
Mal Warwick
Jul 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Shocked by the NSA revelations? You don't know the whole story

While Edward Snowden bounces from one temporary refuge to another in search of safe harbor from the long arms of the U.S. government, the American public is starting to wake up to the reality of Big Data. The National Security Agency, long one of the pioneers in this burgeoning but little-appreciated field, has been teaching us -- or, rather, Snowden, The Guardian, and the Washington Post have been teaching us -- about the power that
Long Tùng
Jul 08, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Actually nothing is new in this book. Way too long and repetitive. The book should have been only 30 pages instead of 300.
Sorry but it's a waste of time.
Jul 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
Having been on a big data/statistics binge recently, I can't help but be struck by the similarities in approach and execution between the major titles on the subject. Crack open any of these books and the authors are sure to regale you with the torrid tales of Billy Beane and his baseball Sabermetricians, Target's premature targeting of expectant mothers, and lest we forget - fawning references to the zany whizzes over at Google.

Still, the subject is so intensely fascinating that it doesn't mat
Apr 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science, reviewed
We measure an enormous amount of data, most seemingly useless. But according to the authors of this book, there is treasure to be mined in this trash. The premise is that previously inaccessible meta data sets can be put to beneficial uses in their imprecise form. Mapping flu outbreaks by triangulating google search for flu remedies for example.

All fair and interesting but not exactly new ground. It could have been easily condensed into a magazine article, where I believe this book was initially
Aaron Thibeault
Mar 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
*A full executive summary of this book is available here:

The main argument: Statistical information, or data, has long been recognized to be a potentially rich and valuable source of knowledge. Until recently, however, our ability to render phenomena and events in a quantified format, store this information, and analyze it has been severely limited. With the rise of the digital age, though, these limitations are quickly being eroded. To begin with, digita
In my profession, I profess the importance of Big Data. Primary reason, I read the book, is to find out examples that I would use in my presentations. And did I get those? In plenty.

Without going even an inch into technicalities, this book talks about how 'Big Data' is fundamentally altering our lives - what we love, what we do, how we learn, etc etc. By gathering, processing and analysing information about us, our actions, our reactions, it enables us to improve techniques, that is tailored to
Troy Blackford
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a fascinating exploration of the topic of what happens when the sample size of a given field of study reaches the point where n=all. That is to say, what happens when we have data for all of a given variable, rather than just taking a sampling and extrapolating out findings. The authors compare the difference to what happened to visual representation when you could make a number of photographs in one second - it wasn't just a quality-based leap like that of the jump from realistic artwor ...more
Rajat TWIT
Thanks to the burgeoning Internet and the interwoven lives of people with the net world, we have so much of Data available that Google helped in a health emergency recently. That is how this book starts and this is the story it tells. Our every action of regular life creates a sort of data, which ultimately can be used to regulate, observe, predict and prepare a lot of things. From out air journeys to the bank transactions to the online searches, everything can be collected in the form of data, ...more
Elizabeth Theiss Smith
May 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: science, data
Big Data takes on big ideas: how will the availability of huge data sets change the way we do research? Does it matter why something happens as much as what precisely is happening? Will correlation analysis of large data sets take the place of the painstaking theory-to-hypothesis-to-empirical-testing of traditional science?

The author perhaps over promises the impact of Big Data and underestimates the associated privacy issues. Yet, there is much that is interesting and important in this book. Wh
Mar 18, 2014 rated it liked it
The first half of the book was great but it really took effort to get through the second half. Essentially, the take away from this book can be summarized by this quote:

“There is a treasure hunt under way, driven by the insights to be extracted from data and the dormant value that can be unleashed by a shift from causation to correlation.”

All-in-all, useful information for my purposes as I hope to play a role in the analysis and dissemination of Big Data at my company.

Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book has been sitting in my Kindle queue since publishing in 2013. Still holds up--but not a lot beyond talking at the high-level what can and has been done with big data. I didn't learn anything new. ...more
Suleiman Arabiat
A hyped topic that requires such a book to be published, yet the book can be put into 80-100 pages maximum. It's repetitive, dull, and oversimplified. Worth skimming through but that's all. ...more
Avolyn Fisher
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, data
Really, quite a spectacular read on the world of big data. I think the biggest reason that this book gets 4 not 5 stars is simply due to the passage of time and that some of this information has already found itself outdated. But in its day it would have been cutting edge, no doubt. I was tickled to see the book mention 'differential privacy' although briefly, but a topic that was literally in its infancy (and still quite young today) when this book was published.

I think this book does a nice jo
Well-researched and well-written, this guidebook to the (dystopian?) future is intriguing, mind-bending, and alarming, all at the same time.

The authors explain that our economy and society are undergoing a massive upheaval, akin to the industrial revolution. “Representative sampling” used to be the norm, and researchers tightly controlled variables to isolate why something was occurring. Thanks to the massive increase in computer processing power, very inexpensive storage, and diverse types of d
Before I had read this book, I had only a vague idea of what Big Data exactly means, even though I myself work in the IT-industry.

Of course I knew that data leeches like Google, Facebook, Twitter & Co collect everything imaginable and store forever, what we disclose of us in our virtual existence, that Amazon and other online stores analyzes our behavior as consumers and develops more or less reasonable suggestions to encourage us to buy even more stuff, and that intelligence agencies in the wor
Pradeep Nair
Oct 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
The book tells you a lot about Big Data, the ubiquitous term nowadays.

There is so much of data being generated in the form of text, photos, and videos. Add to that the tons of personal data relating to whenever we do on our phone, like our location, what and how we are reading, listening, surfing the net, using different apps, etc.

Every minute detail of the way we use different apps are relayed back to the developers to get an understanding of the efficiency of the product. Everyone, not just
Jul 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read some of the critiques below I have to wonder, what other books on big data can people recommend?

That said, I'm a quarter way done and have discovered a number of interesting sites and read dozens of support pages to better understand what is being discussed. So far, I'm enjoying it.


Finished it. I originally gave it four stars but now just three.

I feel that the author would have been better served by a stronger editor. There is quite a bit of repetition in the book. For only 2
May 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: data
Big Data is a great book if you don't have a background in the field and want to learn about it. Unlike other 'topical' books, it does give some debate on the downsides of the focus topic and predictions on how these may be overcome in the future.

In particular, I liked the examples used, plain language and thoughts on where the field is going.

Unfortunately, being somewhat of a nerd, I chased up several websites and companies referenced in the text to learn more and (perhaps being the nature of t
Kuhajeyan Gunaratnam
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
With cost of data storage hardware coming down, we need to hardly through and collection of data any more. With exponential rise data end points that collect data, we accumulate data in a single day more than of data collected centuries via traditional methods.

This humongous collection of data presents opportunities, analyzing patterns that is hidden deep beneath this collection. Big data analysis gives you results without caring about the causality, that what influenced the outcome. Causality
Dr. Lloyd E. Campbell
Very padded, He covers the same information three times. For me he didn't make the case for big data being as influential as he thinks it will be. I would like to read a clearly defined statement about areas of application and other areas. I think he minimizes causation and over states correlations. I don' understand a scientific method without hypotheses, ideas coming from the data like ooze and how data has improved decision making in N=All situations. Baseball using N=all hasn't done well and ...more
Aug 26, 2013 rated it liked it
As an ex-nerd, I've been spending less and less time thinking about and working with computers and networks professionally. I'd heard the term "Big Data", and knew approximately what it meant. This book was a surprize. It explained in lay terms what Big Data is, how it can be used, the implications for businesses and governments, and how it is different from the data bases that we have used for decades. It uses explicit and clear examples. It is a great read for anyone who wants to know what the ...more
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Very thought provoking and well considered, Big Data was cleverly structured. In my current role there is lots that can be learned from this book - the need to move from narrow samples and focusing on the why, to embracing the messiness of large rafts of data and determining what is shown. The sensationalist in me was fascinated by how data can be used for ill and the writers were firm in their views that data must never be used in isolation without human interpretation. Lots of food for thought ...more
Ashok Krishna
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're a lay-person wondering what the hoopla of Big Data is all about, then this is definitely one of the best books that you can lay your hands upon.

Will share the detailed review soon.
Mar 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
If you are, like I am, a general reader with some interesting in technology and computers, this could be a good read for you. Mayer-Schonberg deserves credit for being one of the first thinkers to bring this subject to a large audience. He tells us about the recent phenomenon that he calls big data, which involves, basically, the ability of people to collect and analyze far greater amounts of data on just about everything than we ever could before. Examples of organizations (like Google) who hav ...more
Peter Corrigan
Jun 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a useful and quick summary (written 2013) of the Big Data challenge and conundrum. It cites some fairly benign example of where Big Data has helped society (tracking flu outbreaks, finding cheaper air fares, identifying dangerous housing units, spotting medical issues, etc.). There is a chapter or so on the possible misuses and dangers but they are more or less dismissed--'just hire some ombudsmans' like the WaPO (supposedly) has and all will be well; or hire some 'algorithmists' to exp ...more
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VIKTOR MAYER-SCHÖNBERGER is Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at the Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University. A widely recognized authority on big data, he is the author of over a hundred articles and eight books, of which the most recent is Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age. He is on the advisory boards of corporations and organizations around the world, inclu ...more

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