Big Data by all accounts is supposed to help humans perform better by augmenting our limited brain power. Computers, after all, have the ability to crunch data with lightning speed, something humans just haven’t been built to do.
Conventional tech wisdom states that the more data you have, the better the outcome — even if that sounds counter-intuitive. That’s the thinking behind the NSA hoovering up as much data as they can get their hands on. With more data should come deeper understanding, but what happens when there’s too much data and it surpasses our human ability to understand it in a given moment?
Chances are that too much information running through our small brains clouds our thinking, making it more difficult to do our jobs. Computers can slice and dice data with great precision, coming up with meticulous details about a given situation, but it could be another matter for mere humans who are left to process that data and apply it to our work.
That’s because we can only deal with so much data, even when the machine is filling in for our limitations. We may have a handful of things we can keep in our brains at once, at least at the moment we are trying to be effective employees and do the job to the best of our abilities with the data the machines have been kind enough to supply for us.
By all accounts, machines can get us so far, but it is left to us as humans to take that information and process it to make meaningful connections.
As a great real-life example, baseball has become a sport dominated by data. Former major league baseball player, Tony Clark, who is currently head of the MLB Player’s Association put it well when he told Nick Carfardo of the Boston Globe, “There is value in having information. There is a danger in having too much of it.