With a mission to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible,” Google is a central part of the current focus on huge amounts of data. Even the name Google is rooted in largeness, as it was derived from googol, an alternate term for 10100.
Hal Varian, chief economist at Google and emeritus professor at UC Berkeley, has been with Google for more than a decade and has unique insight into the past and future of data analytics.
In a conversation with Sam Ransbotham, associate professor of information systems at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College and guest editor for the MIT Sloan Management Review Data and Analytics Big Idea Initiative, Varian says that companies need to beef up their systems to function within an overwhelming data flow — including new voice-command system data and other computer-mediated transactions.
You’ve got several orders of magnitude more data coming your way, warns Google’s chief economist.