Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

On Big Data and Not Rehiring Criminals


Jeff Jonas, chief scientist at IBM Entity Analytics Group and an IBM Distinguished Engineer, recently spoke to GigaOm about a variety of topics ranging from Big Data to analytics to how the need for real-time processing.  (GigaOm: Jeff Jonas Video on How Data Makes Corporations Dumb).

As always, Jeff has a way of boiling down complex thoughts to a simple, coherent analogy - in this case on how the various puzzle pieces of structured and unstructured data can come together to provide insight - and I encourage you to watch the full video below.

He starts off with a great example on the blind spots evident in too many of our businesses today.  He describes a retail organization he worked with that discovered that 2 of every 1000 employees they hired had previously been fired for stealing... from that retailer... from that same store.  That's right, as a result of what he terms "enterprise amnesia," these employees were arrested at the store for stealing and then rehired at the exact same store!   (Or, in other words, the blue puzzle pieces in one hand weren't being put together with the green puzzle pieces in the other hand to present a complete picture.)

Jeff covers a lot more material in the video, talking about the value of real-time data and analytics over batch processing, the rise of Big Data, and the importance of being able to use information to create higher quality predictions.