Back when I was involved with some 10 different research projects every week, I realized that one of the weakest points in my training was statistics. I needed those skills to discern if what we were doing was actually an improvement or not. As a techie, I was taught to believe (yes, that’s the verb) that statistical analysis would remove any bias I would bring to the analysis.
Don’t get me wrong. I love parks. When my kids were young, we walked (or, occasionally drove) to them to enjoy the gorgeous views, the trees, the grass (and, sometimes the play equipment). I still ride my bike along the Potomac River, the C&O Canal, the O&D Trail enjoying the view as I hustle along.
Big data. It’s all the rage. Somewhere, someone decided that, given our awesome computing capabilities, we can use this to predict behavior. Or, to understand the world because our computer systems will let us crunch the numbers.