Forget Big Data. MegaData is here.

MegaData sounds better don’t you think? Or maybe Megalodata.

Yesterday, Dr. Jeremy Wu spoke at our Biostatistics seminar about “Statistics 2.0” and big data. I think his main point was to get people thinking about where statistics is going as a field.

I had a couple of thoughts. First, rather than statistics version 2.0, we’re looking at statistics version 103.543. Statistics is well past version 2. Second, big mega data talk focuses on leveraging massive integrated datasets built for the most part by corporations and governments. This focus ignores the massive numbers of “small” datasets generated by individuals and small organizations. Not only are datasets getting larger, the tools to generate digital data are more widely available.

My question is: how can statisticians help the citizen, business owner, or community leader understand and make use of the “small” data they have?