Like Kant in the 18th century, Big Data could shift the entire framework of how we discuss and solve problems.
Kant's primary contention was that there were two forms of understanding: analytic and synthetic. The former comprises facts that are axiomatic and based on nothing more than logic. Two and two will always sum four, even when you have no other evidence. Synthetic truths, however, are only realizable through access to external data, and can't simply be "figured out" logically.
Until recently, computers were very good at the first sort of calculation. Given enough time and memory, they could solve incredibly complex problems, as long as the parameters were entered correctly and each step logically followed the next.
It's the rise of custom database software that has begun to allow computers to excel at synthetic analysis. By creating the infrastructure for machines to collect and analyze data, we've garnered an ability to harness their power and apply it to the sort of complex problem solving once the exclusive domain of humans.
Writing for VentureBeat, Venture Capitalist Zavain Dar explored this new possibility.
"Fundamentally, we're seeing a shift in how we approach problems. By removing ourselves from the intellectual and perhaps philosophical burden of positing structures and axioms, we no longer rely on step function driven analytical insights. Rather, we're seeing widespread infrastructural adoption to accelerate the adoption of synthetic problem solving," Dar explained.
If your business isn't at least considering a custom web application to help with its problem solving, it could be at a serious disadvantage.