A lot can be done with large datasets

July 1, 2008

And Ian Ayres’ book, Supercrunchers, ¬†will tell you a little about it.

Supercrunchers are those who use lage datasets
to find patterns in human behaviour, and
predict the future based on these large datasets.

The book informs us that super crunching is on the verge of being
used all over. E.g.
Chess grandmaster Kasparov was no match
for IBMs Deep Blue chess computer,
that stored some 700.000 grandmaster chess games to help find the
winning move.
The IRS could use its data to tell a small business,
if it is spending too much or too little on advertising.
Indeed, the IRS probably has enough data to
make good estimates on whether business, marriages, etc. etc.
will fail – based only on comparison with its existing dataset.

For the paranoid, it is a horror that supermarkets could map your life cycle and predict your next purchases pretty accurately (based on
what other similar customers did).
For the optimist data mining is a good thing and we’ll all lead better lives because of it.

Want to write a bestseller about it? Compare your title and some key words with data from a database of books, titlescore.com, containing millions of bestsellers and flops, and you will get your answer.

It all seems pretty straight forward, and the book has some nice examples of what we can expect in the coming years.