Saturday, September 29, 2012

Overkill Analytics

An alternative to underkill analytics, I guess.

And therein lies the beauty of overkill analytics, a term that Carter might have coined, but that appears to be catching on — especially in the world of web companies and big data. Carter says he doesn’t want to spend a lot of time fine-tuning models, writing complex algorithms or pre-analyzing data to make it work for his purposes. Rather, he wants to utilize some simple models, reduce things to numbers and process the heck out of the data set on as much hardware as is possible.

It’s not about big data so much as it is about big computing power, he said. There’s still work to be done on smaller data sets like the majority of the world deals with, but Hadoop clusters and other architectural advances let you do more to that data in a faster time than was previously possible. Now, Carter said, as long as you account for the effects of overprocessing data, you can create a black-box-like system and run every combination of simple techniques on data until you get the most-accurate answer.

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