Look before you leap into 'big data'

Pricey data-mining projects may produce redundant, irrelevant or misleading results

As regular readers of this column know, I love data. I love it when there’s lots of it. And I love it when there are several sources of it. I find it very useful.

But this week I had the opportunity to listen to a master of understanding data, Edward Tufte. He had some criticisms of big data that I think are well worth considering — especially as the buzz around big data reaches fever pitch.