Sure, Big Data Is Great. But So Is Intuition

… Big Data, said Professor [Erik] Brynjolfsson, will “replace ideas, paradigms, organizations and ways of thinking about the world.”

These drumroll claims rest on the premise that data like Web-browsing trails, sensor signals, GPS tracking, and social network messages will open the door to measuring and monitoring people and machines as never before. And by setting clever computer algorithms loose on the data troves, you can predict behavior of all kinds: shopping, dating and voting, for example. …

The problem is that a math model, like a metaphor, is a simplification. This type of modeling came out of the sciences, where the behavior of particles in a fluid, for example, is predictable according to the laws of physics. [cont.]

Steve Lohr, New York Times