Big (Bad) Data

Elizabeth Charnock (Cataphora)
Location: Sutton South Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ***..
(3.50, 2 ratings)

Whether you believe the hype around Big Data or not, the amount of information accruing throughout large organizations is getting more profound every day. And it’s not simply a question of volume; of equal concern is the variety of data. There are emails, IMs, tweets, Facebook updates and the fastest-growing category of data: video. This variety makes it difficult to generate an apples-to-apples comparison of data from a single individual or entity. Combine this with the fact that experts think that there is no such thing as ‘clean’ data, and you have a growing problem.

This is why it is better to focus on understanding digital character. As with individuals, electronic data has ‘character.’ That character helps to disambiguate the relationship between one piece of data and another. This is particularly important given that because communication is more fragmented than ever, it makes relevance more difficult to ascertain.

Digital character is similar to individual character in the real world; particularly in the sense that character emerges over time. Does one embarrassing photo or comment on Facebook define an individual’s lifetime character? Can’t everyone recollect an email they wish they had never sent? Just as in the real world, digital character requires a large enough body of work to make an accurate character judgment.

Elizabeth Charnock, CEO of Cataphora and author of E-Habits, will discuss the pitfalls of Bad Data, and how it manifests itself in the interaction between a male stripper and a Harvard professor.

Photo of Elizabeth Charnock

Elizabeth Charnock


Elizabeth founded Cataphora and has led it from concept to successful profitability and to a successful pre-IPO divestiture that is unprecedented in the history of bootstrapped Silicon Valley software startups. To do this, she has drawn on her prior experience as a CEO and on her extensive knowledge of information retrieval technology and business. She was CEO and founder of Troba, an industry leading Customer Relationship Management software company which she sold in 2001. Elizabeth has significant experience in engineering management, management consulting, and restart management at such companies as Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems. Elizabeth holds a BS in Theoretical Mathematics from the University of Michigan Honors Program.


  • Aster Data
  • EMC Greenplum
  • GE
  • Lexis Nexis
  • MarkLogic
  • Tableau Software
  • Cloudera
  • DataStax
  • Informatica
  • DataSift
  • Splunk
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Datameer
  • Impetus
  • Karmasphere
  • MapR Technologies
  • Pervasive
  • Platform Computing
  • Revolution Analytics
  • Sybase
  • Xeround
  • Media-Science
  • Platfora

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