It is easy to get excited about the potential around “big data”. Many individuals and companies feel this latest trend is all about offering up big data solutions with business models that are built around algorithms, that founders consider their “secret sauce”.
I don’t have a problem with this, more power to you, however I personally feel big data solutions, especially those within government should be more transparent than many of the secret sauce, big data approaches we’ve seen to date.
Alex Howard (@digiphile) has a great post at TechRepublic, called data-driven policy and commerce requires algorithmic transparency, which outlines this very well. Alex uses the the phrase “algorithmic accountability”, which I think sums all of this up very nicely.
When it comes to big data solutions, especially in the public sector, it is fine to collect large amounts of data, offer up analytics, visualizations and other big data tools, but algorithmic accountability is something that will be essential in moving forward and building trust across all indusries when it comes to big data.