Big Data is Powerful

Data is a collection of individual pieces of information. Those pieces of information come together in different ways and with consideration and analysis create knowledge, insights and innovation.

There are a lot of people who believe in openness. I tend to be on the open side of the fence. Others counter sayings that privacy is important and sharing information and data is dangerous. Really, I think we have to admit that both are correct, especially in healthcare.

I got an email reminder from Google location that I was sharing my data. My phone is an Android and I’ve opted into allowing that information to be collected by my own account (owned by Google so they have access to it) and to share it with certain friends. I decided to look at it, and it was incredible to see the minute by minute tracking of my location. It makes it incredibly easy to see where I’ve been.

Check out the picture of my holidays, when I visited family in Barrie and Timmins. Rob Fraser Google Location

This is just one month and if you zoom in you can see the exact address of most of the homes I visited. This was both scary and cool, I’m fascinated to see what I can learn from my travels and how I can look back at where I spend my life.

This is just one example though of data that is sensitive. I don’t want to let this be collected if I was worried about it being share. The fact that I’m collecting this information is why I believe in secure passwords (random, using special characters, numbers, upper and lower case) and changing them regularly.

When talking about big data I like using the term ‘Powerful’. I do not like using dangerous or incredible, both over emphasize positive or negative aspects. When speaking about power Big Data should conger the idea of harm and opportunity. Like a bulldozer or table saw, Big Data will be useful in a lot of ways. Yet both can do damage and harm if used carelessly or improperly.

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