RECOBIA - Reduction of Cognitive Biases in Intelligence Analysis

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The Hidden Biases in Big Data

[17/06/2014]
by Kate Craford
Harvard Business Review
13 June 2014
 
This looks to be the year that we reach peak big data hype. From wildly popular big data conferences to columns in major newspapers, the business and science worlds are focused on how large datasets can give insight on previously intractable challenges. The hype becomes problematic when it leads to what I call “data fundamentalism,” the notion that correlation always indicates causation, and that massive data sets and predictive analytics always reflect objective truth. Sadly (..) data and data sets are not objective; they are creations of human design. We give numbers their voice, draw inferences from them, and define their meaning through our interpretations. Hidden biases in both the collection and analysis stages present considerable risks, and are as important to the big-data equation as the numbers themselves.