Susan Slaughter

Archive for November, 2011|Monthly archive page

Big Data in the News

In Detritus, Everything, SAS on November 30, 2011 at 2:21 pm

As a SAS programmer, the idea of Big Data is nothing new to me.  Decades have passed since I first wrestled with the special challenges of making sense out of huge data sets. Some things have changed, of course.  A million records doesn’t seem as remarkable now as it did 20 years ago, but the basic principles involved are still the same; we just have a lot more computing power at our command now.  So it’s interesting to me to see that the idea of Big Data has finally–even suddenly–hit the mainstream.

Here’s a prime example from National Public Radio: The Search for Analysts to Make Sense of Big Data.

I don’t agree with every claim this journalist makes. (Math and Statistics are not the only routes to success in data analysis. What you need is a logical mind and you’re just as likely to find that in someone majoring in Home Ec or Art as in Math and Stats.) And no discussion of Big Data is complete without mention of the fact that SAS Institute practically invented the field.  Despite those shortcomings, the fact that Big Data has attracted this much attention is good news for SAS programmers everywhere.