IBM CEO Rometty says that “Big Data Are the Next Great Natural Resource”:

“With this emergence of big data and social mobility, you will in fact see the death of ‘average,’ Instead, you will see the era of you.”

“data is the new natural resource.”

“You are at the 15 percent mark at what in three years is going to be flooding on you, and the majority of that isn’t text. It’s going to be information that is unstructured, video-aided conversation, etc., and it is going to be uncertain, meaning what did that actually mean? It’s going to be a different world.

Unless organizations “unlearn” old ways of managing, she said, they will lose to companies that understand “cognitive advantage” and the new corporate culture of information sharing that enables management to make fast decisions.

Companies that make “billion-dollar decisions” based on “gut instincts” rather than “predictive analysis” of big data will be “losers” in the ever-burgeoning information-based global economy.

The promise of Big Data is that by analysing large amounts of data companies will be able to improve on the quality and pace of decision making, hence be more competitive than those that don’t or use inferior decision making models. In the stock markets we have seen the emergence of computer aided trading mechanisms that acts within milliseconds for some years now.

Today decision-making is predominately based on illogical and arbitrary reasoning; which is typical for humans and thus managers. With today’s rapid pace of developments it will only be a matter of time before some companies will start leaving ever bigger business decisions to computer based programs.

This type of developments invokes all kinds of questions. How are we going to adapt management to the idea that their human thought processes are cumbersome at most and to accept the machine to take over? How are we going to have them accept liability for the decisions made by these systems? How are rules and regulations being adapted to cater for this development? Will these rules and regulations curtail or rather amplify these developments? Will different levels of adoption occur for the various cultural and economic parts of the world? How will this influence cross border activities of globally acting companies? How are we going to prevent a systems stampede as we have seen a few times in securities trading already? etc. etc.

A similar trend can be seen at the level of individual human beings. Google Graph is a super-duper example of big data that will effect what people think and even the way people think.