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Sogeti Labs
January 10, 2013

I love the word: contemplation. It rings of the old Latin meaning, with hints of temple, silence and deliberation included. The word makes you yearn for the outcome, the insight, the answer that follows. One of the definitions of contemplation reads ‘an act of considering with attention’. And attention if of course what is most scarce these days. Good Data, and especially Big Data, deserves contemplation. When a few years ago I moved from Europe to the USA, I was struck by the immediacy of everything here. Big decisions have to be made in a matter of days, or perhaps a week. Important insights have to be achieved in a one hour conference call (often with fifteen people on the call). Big Proposals come out with a two or three week deadline. This has not improved with the onset of economic crises and every new level of immediacy immediately becomes ‘the new normal’. If you don’t reply to an email within a day, you’ll receive another asking ‘did you get my email?’ Europe seems to follow quickly in this fashion. So what do we do with Big Data? Use automation to turn Big Data into a realtime firehose of pre-baked snap decisions? A continuous flow of up/down or go/no go decisions? Or do we create rich data palettes where we can wander around, experience and …indeed… contemplate? I would argue for a finely balanced mix: with increased granularity should come increased time for contemplation. The smallest decisions may be automated completely, for later review, and the biggest decisions are turned into 3d social virtual experiences that invite interaction and expansive thinking. Perhaps we can even find a formula that would fit, relating the budget or the number of people impacted to the time we have to spend contemplating. That in itself would already be a great outcome from the Big Data hype: if we become more aware of the decision processes in our organizations, and the data that we use to feed them.

About the author

SogetiLabs gathers distinguished technology leaders from around the Sogeti world. It is an initiative explaining not how IT works, but what IT means for business.


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