The popularisation of the phrase ‘Big Data’ is not the first time humanity has invented a vague concept then afterwards sought to clarify its definition by creating or discovering its embodiments. Concepts such as Artificial Intelligence and Econometrics could only be explained through their embodiments that define them. About Happiness, the greatest aspirational concept of them all, Pharrell Williams couldn’t have depicted it better than by listing its embodiments: the sensations of being “a room without a roof” and “a hot air balloon.” Because happiness is challenging to describe in universally agreed upon terms, he sings, “Clap along if you know what happiness is to you.” Well…
Clap along if you feel like Big Data is business intelligence.
Clap along if you feel like Big Data is analytics.
Clap along if you feel like Big Data is solid state technology.
Clap along if you feel like Big Data is crawling, scraping or aggregating.
And so on. You get the idea.
First, none of these embodiments resulted from this Big Data. They pre-existed that glamorous phrase, a phrase that transformed the marketing of products much more than the products themselves.
Second, data has never been small. Data, by definition, is a collection of information. One or two pieces of information isn’t data. It’s an anecdote.
Those of us in recruitment know we’ve always managed large amounts of data manifested in the form of addresses, phone numbers, jobs, achievements, skills, desires, salaries, hobbies, degrees, habits, attitudes, titles, references, employers, locations, tests, questionnaires and much more. We’ve long captured candidates’ likes, but we’ve also captured their dislikes.
About the fluidity of the term, for some people, twenty thousand resumes were big; for others, ten million aren’t enough. Some got more accurate analytics from their 300 active openings than from the inferences of 300 irrelevant sources.
Some of us applied analytics on large amassed data irrespective of source and format when the application of robotics and bigness was “the truth.” Well, here is the “bad news.” Big data or otherwise, unless you have data, don’t waste your time because all the supposed embodiments of big data won’t make you happy.
However, if you have the data, if you can aggregate it, if you can search, if you can analyse and if you’re fast, too, then clap along: There is nothing that “will bring you down.”
By Diya Obeid
Founder & CEO, JobDiva
Diya is a system developer, a recruiter, a leader, a speaker, an inventor, an adviser, a visionary, and a guiding force behind JobDiva. JobDiva's innovations have been expertly developed under Diya’s leadership. In his role as Chief Executive Officer, Diya is responsible for setting the business and technology strategy of the company. With more than 30 years of experience in technology and recruitment, Diya has been a change catalyst and a moving force in the recruitment industry. He is a system developer, a recruiter, a leader, a speaker, an inventor, an adviser, and a visionary.