Is personal quantification the next evolution of the Big Data revolution? And is our addiction to analytics leading us astray?
But while Big Data gets all the attention, innovative technologies have also enabled Little Data to flourish. Personal quantification. The measurement, tracking, and analysis of the minutiae of our everyday lives. How many calories we consumed for breakfast, how many we burned on our last run, and how long we spend using various applications on our computer.
In some ways Little Data is a boon. We can lose weight by realizing we tend to splurge on Thursdays.
....Why do people obsess over LinkedIn Connections or Twitter followers? SAT scores, golf handicaps, or even gas mileage? Because they are observable metrics that are easy to compare. Someone who has more LinkedIn connections must have more expertise. Someone with more Twitter followers must be more “influential.” So people use these metrics as a yardstick. An easy way to assess whether they are doing well.
But just because a metric is easy to capture doesn’t mean it’s the right metric to use.More followers don’t actually equal more influence. More connections don’t necessarily mean more expertise. They may just mean someone spend a lot of time on the site.