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Roger Clarke's 'Big Data Risk Management'

Tell 'im 'e's dreamin'
Risk Management for Big Data Projects

Outline of 20 February 2015

Outline of a lecture in all State and Territory capitals in February-March 2015,
for the Education Across the Nation (EdXN) series
of the Australian Computer Society

Roger Clarke **

© Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, 2014-15

Available under an AEShareNet Free
for Education licence or a Creative Commons 'Some
Rights Reserved' licence.

This document is at

Here are the slide-set used during the presentation and
he appetiser slide-set displayed prior to it


Big data is exciting. It's "data that's too big, too fast or too hard for existing tools to process". Opportunities have been perceived across the length and breadth of business and government. Leading commentators have heralded a revolution: "If the statistics say it is, that's good enough. No semantic or causal analysis is required". "Petabytes allow us to say: 'Correlation is enough'". "Knowing why might be pleasant, but it's unimportant - Let the data speak".

Opportunities do exist. However, experience has taught us to recognise that where there are opportunities, there are threats as well. If the data is 'big, fast and hard', and if 'big data analytics' are brilliant but untested, then organisations - and their executives and Directors - need to weigh up the pros and cons before they commit too heavily to applying the new techniques.

This seminar provides background in big data and big data analytics, and then applies to it the IS profession's accumulated understanding of data quality and decision quality. The risks inherent in the new movement are identified, and risk management processes are outlined that enable organisations to distinguish the opportunitiesfrom the threats. Let the data speak; but listen carefully.

Underlying Papers

Clarke R. (2014a) 'Quality Factors in Big Data and Big Data Analytics' Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, September 2014, at

Clarke R. (2014b) 'Big Data, Big Risks' Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, September 2014, at

A more academic treatment is here:

Clarke R. (2015) 'Big Data Quality: An Investigation using Quasi-Empirical Scenario Analysis' Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, January 2015, at

Author Affiliations

Roger Clarke is Principal of Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, Canberra. He is also a Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre at the University of N.S.W., and a Visiting Professor in the Research School of Computer Science at the Australian National University.

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The content and infrastructure for these community service pages are provided by Roger Clarke through his consultancy company, Xamax.

From the site's beginnings in August 1994 until February 2009, the infrastructure was provided by the Australian National University. During that time, the site accumulated close to 30 million hits. It passed 65 million in early 2021.

Sponsored by the Gallery, Bunhybee Grasslands, the extended Clarke Family, Knights of the Spatchcock and their drummer
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Created: 15 January 2015 - Last Amended: 13 March 2015 by Roger Clarke - Site Last Verified: 15 February 2009
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