The cover story of this week’s Economist is entitled The Data Deluge. This is, of course, a favorite topic of the hosts of this blog. While a number of folks have already highlighted this trend, we are happy to see a mainstream outlet such the Economist reporting on the era of big data. Indeed, the convergence of rapidly increasing computing power, and decreasing data storage costs, on one side, and large scale data collection and digitization on the other … has already impacted practices in the business, government and scientific communities. There is ample reason to believe that more is on the way.
In our estimation, for the particular class of questions for which data is available, two major implications of the deluge are worth reiterating: (1) no need to make assumptions about the asymptotic performance of a particular sampling frames when population level data is readily available; and (2) what statistical sampling was to the 20th century, data filtering may very well be to the 21st ….