Big Data strikes again!

By The Folks @PropTalk - April 10, 2015 No Comments

In our April 2 blog-post on the proponent of using Big Data (or more specifically, the X-Value derived by SRX Property using Big Data) as the de facto real estate pricing standard in Singapore, the wife and I did say that the exchanges that we had witnessed (and wrote about) will probably not be the last. We were right.

In another article published in The Business Times on April 8, Big Data algorithms are again being trumpeted - this time as THE mean to bolster Singapore's mortgage system. We shall not reproduce the lengthy article (you can always Google "How Big Data algorithms can bolster Singapore's mortgage system" if interested), but the message seemed to be "Leave it to our algorithms and computers to come up with THE transparent pricing mechanism and make this the industry standard, and all the instabilities seen in our home mortgage and financial systems will soon go away".

The wife and I have noticed increasingly amount of sound-sites appearing in our local newspapers - we understand that SPH owns a stake in SRX Property's parent company - on how Big Data can supposedly solve most (if not all) the problems that plagued our property market today. Heck, it may even soon cure cancer (no, they didn't say that...yet)!

The recent vigorous "promotion" of  Big Data in relation to the Singapore property market has also piqued our interests in the subject. Is Big Data (or X-Value) really THE saviour that we so desperately need?

So the wife and I went searching for answers on the internet and as expected, the judgement is still out on Big Data. And we would like to share two articles that we found particularly interesting:

1. Why analyzing Big Data can be bad for business

2. Big Data without good analytics can lead to bad decisions

We found these parting words in the second article particularly poignant:

"its always bad to rely just on data analytics. When you take the human element out of the equation, you by definition create a higher error rate."

"It (Big Data) can help you narrow something down from millions to perhaps 150," but the temptation is to let the computer do it all, and that is what is going to get you in trouble."

And to those who (like us) are fans of the U.S. TV series "Persons of Interest", the above should resonate quite well with you...

Source: DILBERT by Scott Adams

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