Big Data won’t replace your brain — but it can work with it

Posted by Justin Hesser on November 18, 2013

From gardeners looking to make their flowers bloom to athletes trying to perfect their jump shots, a wide range of people have found help with FileMaker and other data management programs. However, for all of its power and function, Big Data software can't replace the human brain — no matter how much processing power it can harness.

It's true — the top computers already outpace the best humans in endeavors as complex as chess. But the apples to apples comparison does both the technology and people a disservice. 

Computers excel at repetition. A machine can take the same input, perform the same processes and spit out consistent answers. It never gets tired, it never wanders from its task and it never gets distracted by a bird that landed outside its window. It delivers consistency and speed.

Humans, on the other hand, excel at innovation. We have a unique ability to contextualize the information we've received, and point out outliers and create narratives. In order to create a truly new experience, there needs to be a departure from the standard formula, which is an area that people far outshine machines in.

What does this tell you about how to use FileMaker?

Ultimately, it means that databases are valuable, but only as valuable as the analysis that you can glean from them. It's not just enough to know (for example) which defenders are giving up the most points. You then have to figure out a way to score. Figuring out what you want to get out of the program is an important step in effectively using a software like FileMaker.

Big Data can tell you which flowers need the most sunlight. But arranging them in a beautiful bouquet?

That's a human task.