“Big data” appears to be the coming cliché amongst my propeller-headed friends,  as it gets cheaper to gather, store, and mine data, they are like excited 21st century versions of Oliver Twist, “more petabytes please sir”!

Surely at some point diminishing returns occur, more and more of the same data cannot to my mind possibly lead to the insights that make a difference. What is needed is different data, meaningful insights generated from the data, better assembly of data  into project plans and performance measures, curation of key bits of data to those who can use it to solve a problem or provide insight into a circumstance.

Imagine if you will, a black and white photo taken with a 10 megapixel camera, compared to the same photo taken with a 100 megapixel camera (does this exist?) same photo, better definition although hard to distinguish, you can blow the one taken with the 100 up to the size of the opera house and still be recognisable, but it is still the same photo, just more data of the same sort. Now consider the same picture taken in colour, at 5 megapixels, same photo, less data, but what a change is wrought by a bit of different data, even if it is just an added bit of small data.

More of the same is never as good as a little bit of different.