What Can We Expect From Big Data?

  • Reinhold Stahl
  • Patricia Staab


The information technology industry’s answer to the need for data integration is technological innovation, a current example being Big Data. Thanks to parallelisation and networking, immensely greater computing power is possible. This drives the idea of simply throwing all the data into a data lake and magically recovering new insights from it.

However, this brute approach soon reaches its limits—set not only by ethics but also by feasibility. For all its power, technology alone cannot solve the content-related issues of data processing and analysis; sometimes it even leads to serious mistakes. Big Data can therefore only be complementary to a scientific, intelligent approach.

Even a Big Data system needs structure, both on the input and the results side. Modelling the data with the help of a standard such as SDMX (Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange) can be used to focus and harness the overwhelming power of Big Data technology.


  1. Boyd D, Crawford K (2012) Critical questions for big data: provocations for a cultural, technological, and scholarly phenomenon. Inform Commun Soc 15:662–679. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reinhold Stahl
    • 1
  • Patricia Staab
    • 2
  1. 1.DornburgGermany
  2. 2.FrankfurtGermany

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