Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, professor of internet governance and regulation at the University of Oxford—and this week's Big Data & Analytics Hero—believes that big data and analytics will change the way we learn. Big Data & Analytics Heroes is a recognition program created by IBM to acknowledge and highlight big data and analytics industry thought leaders.
Viktor's research focuses on the role of information in a networked economy. Earlier he spent 10 years on the faculty of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Professor Mayer-Schönberger has published seven books, as well as over one hundred articles (including in Science) and book chapters. His most recent book is the best-selling Big Data, A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think (co-authored with Kenneth Cukier).
How can big data combined with analytics improve the world we live in in 5–10 years?
In five to 10 years, thanks to big data and analytics, we will live longer and better, as health researchers will have been able to create individualized ways to diagnose illnesses and design treatments. In fact, our very idea of what constitutes an illness will have changed, from what differs in average patients to changes and problems within one particular patient. This means not only that healthcare is more efficient, but also that treatments work better. Big data and analytics will also have profoundly changed another core sector of our society: human learning. This change especially affects schools and universities, as we discover how an individual human, as well as a particular class of students, learns best; we will be able to tailor learning to their specific needs. And this is only the beginning. As we embark into an enhanced understanding of how we humans understand and make sense of the world around us—a world that is premised on the availability of big data, rather than small data, and the ability to gain insights from it that we could not have had otherwise.