Interview Viktor Mayer: Big Data in lerende organisaties

Omdat we niet kunnen wachten tot 22 april 2015, hebben we Viktor Mayer-Schönberger alvast gevraagd naar enkele uitspraken over Big Data in lerende organisaties.


Viktor Mayer-SchönbergerWhat is the business value of Big Data in learning?

“A: Humans have experimented with different learning methods and learning tools for ages, but because we lacked comprehensive data, we have been unable to optimize learning, and customize it effectively to different learning preferences and learning abilities.

In short, we make a lot of uninformed decisions about how to learn because we lack the necessary data and analysis.

That is precisely where big data will bring a sea change – and thus provide those businesses that use big data the ability to offer optimized learning.

B: That business value is essentially derived from our ability to gather data about how people learn, and to reuse that data to extract more insights (and thus more economic value) about how to optimize learning.”


Where can we find/collect Big Data and who is responsible to collect them

“In the past it was costly and time-consuming to collect data. That is changing. Today as we interact with digital tools, they capture a lot of relevant data.

For instance, ebook readers know what chapters we actually read, and what pages we skipped, what parts we reread, perhaps what passages we underlined, or commented on, or shared with others.

All this data is enormously valuable, not for the trivial task of marketing, but for the much more value-generating opportunity of improving the learning product. It is the magical channel that offers us comprehensive feedback at scale.”


How many data do you need for Big Data results (what is the minimum, or: how big is Big)?

“Big data is when we capture close to all data relative to the question we want to answer. It is not the absolute data points that are important, but the relative amount.

For instance, if we want to improve how a group of one thousand managers learn a new management skill, it is sufficient to capture data from, say, 990 or 995 of them.”


Big Data changes learning into a mathematical science, or not!?

“Big Data demystifies learning; it opens the black box of the process of how humans make sense of the world around them, and acquire new skills.

But that does not mean it is a precise science. With Big Data analysis we will at times understand how to teach or structure learning to improve learning results, but we may not fully understand why this is the case.

We’ll realize that learning – far from just an art – is a complex science that requires a lot of analysis and understanding. But is also means that there is much to gain.”


Will learning professionals become data analysts in the future?

Not necessarily – just as Internet users do not have to have programming skills. But much like the Internet has changed how we obtain information and communicate with each other, Big Data will change how we make decisions.

In the future, learning professionals will more often than ever before employ data analysis to decide how to structure and shape learning, so that individuals will learn better and easier.


Lees ook het interview met Mathias Vermeulen over het in kaart brengen van informeel leren d.m.v. Big Data.

Meer weten over Viktor Mayer-Schönberger?

Op 22 april 2015 zal Viktor dé keynote spreker zijn tijdens het Next Learning Congres. Hij spreekt over ‘Big Data: Next in Learning?!’.

Volgens hem gaat Big Data het onderwijs en het leren enorm veranderen. Tot nu toe verzamelen we voornamelijk gegevens over de output. We verzamelen nog maar weinig data over het leerproces zelf en over het rendement. En daar kunnen we juist een enorme slag maken!

Lees meer over het Next Learning Congres

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