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Data mining for social solutions

Data mining is often associated with Big Brother-esque marketing tactics: Someone out there is assessing your personal shopping habits and other bits of info in order to sell you something they think you need (or want you to). That’s why we here at Searchlight find National Day of Civic Hacking to be a refreshing idea and our favorite find in this week’s roundup. The White House has declared this day (June 1-2) a time for government agencies to make scores of information readily available, and folks are invited to have at it to help find solutions to social issues. Also this week: a reminder of why Twitter is still a social networking force you can’t afford to ignore, the true meaning of enterprise architecture and more.

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Looks like it is time to short some HP stock; Does Whitman have any idea what she is doing?

First she closes down consumer devices, after an unprecedented internet fire sale on the TouchPad. It speaks that the device could be WILDLY popular at the correct price point. Then, she looks to close down consumer hardware. It's boring but a lucrative commodity, if priced well. Not good.

Now their pouring money into unstructured data analytics. Basically, Garbage in -> Slightly less garbagey out. All this at the cost of an incredible amount of necessary storage, and the only takers will be information-brokers with HUGE traffic. How big is that market share? How likely would they be to choose HP? Their brand isn't what it used to be.

Personally, I don't like how they are marketing Hadoop and other 'big data' analytic solutions. For data-mining with accurate, reliable results, the data needs to be scrubbed. It needs to be QCed. Basically, it has to be good. Good data clearly helps you obtain trustworthy results.

'Big Data' doesn't necessarily mean you simply have a lot of meaningful data - THAT could be easily wrangled with very little resources. Very misleading.

I propose a new name: 'Lots of Crap Data'. If your company collects Lots of Crap Data, which no data analyst would touch with a 10 foot pole, then you can use Hadoop to render it into vague, unreliable guesses, and sell it to some unwitting marketing firm.

At least Hadoop is fun to say.