Does big data hinder creative thinking?

Big data cannot create rules or meaning – it can provide insights or trends, but people provide the meaning for those facts and figures.

I believe the framing of the question is at odds with the fundamental concern – can a machine, or data produced from such a machine, provide meaning? The answer to-date is “No.”

Why should “meaning” be the central question? In marketing we are trying to understand people and hopefully through our actions, inspire, convince and  persuade  them to perform a behavior, whether irrational or rational. “Meaning” is the connective tissue that forms the muscle of that behavior. Take for example children and hot stoves. In the kitchen, I can remember the countless times we would tell…