Pros and Cons of Automating Big Data

  • December 02, 2015
  • Feature

By Brigg Patten

Companies use big data to uncover insights that help them make profitable decisions. Big data can analyze and predict consumer behavior, enabling businesses to create products for markets that do not presently exist.

In some cases, the amount of data available to modern firms seems overwhelming. With so many different types of data presented in almost limitless datasets, the modern enterprise, at times, seems overwhelmed. Help seems inevitably on the way. Processing power continues to rise alongside storage systems, making the automation of big data reach new levels.

Disadvantages of Automating Big Data

Although proponents of big data see little chance of failure for their new world, they might overlook shortcomings in their plan. The lack of human perspective might weigh enough on big data to cause it to fail ultimately. Drawing conclusions from billions of data points might prove effective to a degree, but the automation of big data could promote an over dependence on automation, ignoring non-quantifiable values such as intuition and experience.

Creating software that leverages big data in a legal environment, for example, could significantly improve the capabilities of groups such as legal teams. big data systems might eventually offer interpretations of data and discover relevance between many seemingly unrelated facts. Still, flawed reasoning that leads to erroneous conclusions could result from the automation of big data. Considering some of the most successful legal careers hinge upon unique personalities and original arguments, automating big data could limit possibilities and inhibit innovation, by restricting all human behavior to artificial data sets.

With the automation of Big Data, a new generation of people without the capability of reasoning will rely on potentially flawed data to govern almost every event and process in the world, setting the stage for calamity, should human reasoning ever regain control.

Fraud and manipulation might offer even more problems to big data. Programmers with hidden agendas can implant biases deep into algorithms to make them profit certain people, political parties, or demographics. Gamification examples might serve the business environment well, but they might produce different results when introduced into a world dominated by big data.

The failure of hedge funds during the recent global economic crisis might provide one of the most notable examples of the potential shortcomings of Big Data. As the world becomes more

reliant on big data automation, the population of the world will become vulnerable to the few who have access to the algorithms that govern their lives.

Advantages of Automating Big Data

The development of new tools for data analysis holds promise for big data proponents. As soon as today’s simple algorithms yield to future systems, big data will know practically everything about everyone. Accurate predictions about economic, social, and political activity will pave the way for a world with perfect outcomes and no surprises.

Big data collects so much information that human-oriented systems cannot digest it before it becomes obsolete. With automation, legal and scientific research can progress without the tedious hours of labor now supporting the simplest project. Best of all, new algorithms can use big data to uncover the meaning of data, including sentiment and subject matter.

So-called predictive coding will enable machines to interpret data rather than merely provide it. Corporations in practically all industries will achieve major efficiency gains that result in products and services that satisfy their markets.

As data scientists find ways to create natural systems, machines will offer decision support that will increasingly improve the accuracy of the algorithms used for decision making. When such continuous processes become commonplace, systems will grow on their own, benefitting almost everyone.

The pros and cons of automating big data seem clear. Big data will either push the world and humanity toward perfection or damage the world through growing instability where those who control the algorithms hold the keys. We only know for sure that the automation of big data will continue, and time will ultimately reveal the results.

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