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The Promises and Limitations of Big Data

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Although many people claim we have entered the era of big data, research firms tell us that most collected information is never used. It sits uncleaned, unanalyzed, unused in databases.

But when data analytics is used successfully, organizations reap the benefits. Financial services firms are using digital information about their customers to offer them a whole new range of customized products under the category of fintech. Cities are using data from Google Street View to guide economic development. And companies are finding that in some cases machines can make better hiring decisions than humans.

In these stories from our recent archives, Harvard Business School researchers outline the promises of big data—and the limitations of trying to harness data from a firehose.

The Civic Benefits of Google Street View and Yelp

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