Too Much Big Data?

Can we have too much data? Jonathan Hakim explored this question at Techonomy earlier this month:

Mobile technology is rapidly changing the way we live. This is most dramatic in emerging countries that have simply skipped the static world of desktop computers and one-to-one emails and moved directly to the untethered, always-on Internet…

As technologists, our first instinct is to celebrate this rapid increase in connectivity. After all, it means greater opportunity for inclusion, the democratization of information, and so many other positive advancements. But we might also want to reflect on whether the unconstrained growth is unambiguously a good thing. In previous generations we agonized over consumption of material goods – how many cars, clothes and electronic gadgets do we really need? In the digital era perhaps we need to reformulate this question: how much information consumption is enough?

For the full discussion, access the article here.

 For local government leaders seeking to engage citizens using big data, perhaps the questions are not so much about data quantity, as about quality, presentation, transparency, and incorporation into effective engagement processes. For regular updates on various ways cities are using data to engage citizens, check out #ThisWeekInData at Data-Smart City Solutions, and our Gov 2.0 Watch blog.

Contributor: Ben Peterson, Pepperdine School of Public Policy, MPP Candidate ’16.

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