Big Data is changing the way business intelligence operates, and is opening new doors of opportunity for organizations and individuals. With the combination of cloud computing and business intelligence, new flexibilities are being created for organizations at cost-effective prices (Muntean, 2015).
Big Data is the combination of information from diverse sources to create knowledge, make better predictions and tailor services (Martin, 2015). It is the ability to accumulate large quantities of data, process information to extract new information and meaning, surpass traditional tools, and serve as a tactic to operate at a large scale not previously possible (Mayer-Schönberger & Cukier, 2014). Through the use of structured data, unstructured data, semi-structured data, and non-standard data sources, organizations are able to really understand who and where their customers are and drill down into the specific times of the insight (Lam, 2015). However, there are hurdles to be considered, sooner rather than later.
The greatest hurdle of Big Data is the ethics of extraction methods as well as the use of the information. Oppenheimer, creator of the atom bomb, said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and you argue about what to do about it only after you have had your technical success” (Rothstein, 2015). This is exactly where Big Data is; in 2015 it celebrated version 2.0 of data-driven analytics (Lam, 2015) and is reaching into every area of life, but there do not seem to be enough questions being asked regarding the ethics of this far reaching technology and industry (Martin, 2015).
Big Data has been criticized as a breach of privacy, as potentially discriminatory, as distorting the power relationship, and exhibiting behavior considered “creepy” (Martin, 2015). The slippery slope begins with minor deviations of method, and Big Data is on the slope.
Lam, L. (2015). Business Analytics Gain Traction with Flying Colors in 2015. ComputerWorld Hong Kong, 58.
Martin, K. E. (2015). Ethical Issues in the Big Data Industry. MIS Quarterly Executive, 14(2), 67–85.
Mayer-Schönberger, V., & Cukier, K. (2014). Big data: a revolution that will transform how we live, work, and think (First Mariner Books edition). Boston: Mariner Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Muntean, M. (2015). Considerations Regarding Business Intelligence in Cloud Context. Informatica Economica, 19(4), 55–67. http://doi.org/10.12948/issn14531305/19.4.2015.05
Rothstein, M. A. (2015). Ethical Issues in Big Data Health Research: Currents in Contemporary Bioethics. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 43(2), 425–429 5p. http://doi.org/10.1111/jlme.12258