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Too Big to Ignore: The Business Case for Big Data

Book Description

Residents in Boston, Massachusetts are automatically reporting potholes and road hazards via their smartphones. Progressive Insurance tracks real-time customer driving patterns and uses that information to offer rates truly commensurate with individual safety. Google accurately predicts local flu outbreaks based upon thousands of user search queries. Amazon provides remarkably insightful, relevant, and timely product recommendations to its hundreds of millions of customers. Quantcast lets companies target precise audiences and key demographics throughout the Web. NASA runs contests via gamification site TopCoder, awarding prizes to those with the most innovative and cost-effective solutions to its problems. Explorys offers penetrating and previously unknown insights into healthcare behavior.

How do these organizations and municipalities do it? Technology is certainly a big part, but in each case the answer lies deeper than that. Individuals at these organizations have realized that they don't have to be Nate Silver to reap massive benefits from today's new and emerging types of data. And each of these organizations has embraced Big Data, allowing them to make astute and otherwise impossible observations, actions, and predictions.

It's time to start thinking big.

In Too Big to Ignore, recognized technology expert and award-winning author Phil Simon explores an unassailably important trend: Big Data, the massive amounts, new types, and multifaceted sources of information streaming at us faster than ever. Never before have we seen data with the volume, velocity, and variety of today. Big Data is no temporary blip of fad. In fact, it is only going to intensify in the coming years, and its ramifications for the future of business are impossible to overstate.

Too Big to Ignore explains why Big Data is a big deal. Simon provides commonsense, jargon-free advice for people and organizations looking to understand and leverage Big Data. Rife with case studies, examples, analysis, and quotes from real-world Big Data practitioners, the book is required reading for chief executives, company owners, industry leaders, and business professionals.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Praise
  3. Wiley & SAS Business Series
  4. Title Page
  5. Copyright
  6. Other Books by Phil Simon
  7. Epigraph
  8. List of Tables and Figures
  9. Acknowledgments
  10. Preface
    1. NOTES
  11. Introduction: This Ain’t Your Father’s Data
    1. BETTER CAR INSURANCE THROUGH DATA
    2. POTHOLES AND GENERAL ROAD HAZARDS
    3. RECRUITING AND RETENTION
    4. HOW BIG IS BIG? THE SIZE OF BIG DATA
    5. Why Now? Explaining the Big Data Revolution
    6. CENTRAL THESIS OF BOOK
    7. PLAN OF ATTACK
    8. WHO SHOULD READ THIS BOOK?
    9. SUMMARY
    10. NOTES
  12. Chapter 1: Data 101 and the Data Deluge
    1. THE BEGINNINGS: STRUCTURED DATA
    2. STRUCTURE THIS! WEB 2.0 AND THE ARRIVAL OF BIG DATA
    3. THE COMPOSITION OF DATA: THEN AND NOW
    4. THE CURRENT STATE OF THE DATA UNION
    5. THE ENTERPRISE AND THE BRAVE NEW BIG DATA WORLD
    6. SUMMARY
    7. NOTES
  13. Chapter 2: Demystifying Big Data
    1. CHARACTERISTICS OF BIG DATA
    2. THE ANTI-DEFINITION: WHAT BIG DATA IS NOT
    3. SUMMARY
    4. NOTES
  14. Chapter 3: The Elements of Persuasion: Big Data Techniques
    1. THE BIG OVERVIEW
    2. STATISTICAL TECHNIQUES AND METHODS
    3. DATA VISUALIZATION
    4. AUTOMATION
    5. SEMANTICS
    6. BIG DATA AND THE GANG OF FOUR
    7. PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS
    8. LIMITATIONS OF BIG DATA
    9. SUMMARY
    10. NOTES
  15. Chapter 4: Big Data Solutions
    1. PROJECTS, APPLICATIONS, AND PLATFORMS
    2. OTHER DATA STORAGE SOLUTIONS
    3. WEBSITES, START-UPS, AND WEB SERVICES
    4. HARDWARE CONSIDERATIONS
    5. THE ART AND SCIENCE OF PREDICTIVE ANALYTICS
    6. SUMMARY
    7. NOTES
  16. Chapter 5: Case Studies: The Big Rewards of Big Data
    1. QUANTCAST: A SMALL BIG DATA COMPANY
    2. EXPLORYS: THE HUMAN CASE FOR BIG DATA
    3. NASA: HOW CONTESTS, GAMIFICATION, AND OPEN INNOVATION ENABLE BIG DATA
    4. SUMMARY
    5. NOTES
  17. Chapter 6: Taking the Big Plunge
    1. BEFORE STARTING
    2. STARTING THE JOURNEY
    3. AVOIDING THE BIG PITFALLS
    4. SUMMARY
    5. NOTES
  18. Chapter 7: Big Data: Big Issues and Big Problems
    1. PRIVACY: BIG DATA = BIG BROTHER?
    2. BIG SECURITY CONCERNS
    3. BIG, PRAGMATIC ISSUES
    4. SUMMARY
    5. NOTES
  19. Chapter 8: Looking Forward: The Future of Big Data
    1. PREDICTING PREGNANCY
    2. BIG DATA IS HERE TO STAY
    3. BIG DATA WILL EVOLVE
    4. PROJECTS AND MOVEMENTS
    5. BIG DATA WILL ONLY GET BIGGER…AND SMARTER
    6. THE INTERNET OF THINGS: THE MOVE FROM ACTIVE TO PASSIVE DATA GENERATION
    7. BIG DATA: NO LONGER A BIG LUXURY
    8. STASIS IS NOT AN OPTION
    9. SUMMARY
    10. NOTES
  20. Final Thoughts
    1. SPREADING THE BIG DATA GOSPEL
    2. NOTES
  21. Selected Bibliography
  22. About the Author
  23. Index