What Does Data-ism Mean?

Data-ism is a recently coined term for a kind of data philosophy or ideology. Various sources attribute this particular term to David Brooks, a prominent political commentator and writer at The New York Times. In comments about an overriding data philosophy, Brooks mentions data-ism as an obsession with data that assumes a number of things about data, including that it is the best overall measure of any given scenario, and that it always produces valuable results.


Techopedia Explains Data-ism

In general, the concept of data-ism is useful in the business world, where many companies may not have gone much further than a big data approach to helping them aggregate or mine copious amounts of data for different applications and business processes. Experts talk about data for data’s sake and how this philosophy is not sufficient to craft very customized enterprise resource planning setups. New cloud hosting solutions and other sophisticated data systems have led to the rise of data skeptics, who push back against the idea that good data handling can provide infinite results without other types of planning.

Another idea that goes along the pushback against data-ism is the idea that big data can also have inherent dangers. Many of these are related to personal or business privacy. The idea is that the more capable data mining systems become, the more businesses and government agencies can use these systems to spy on consumers or citizens in many different ways. Some of these concerns can also apply within the business community. The idea that data is a double-edged sword is part of why the term data-ism may continue to gain popularity within the IT media.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.