The Pluses and Minuses of a Big Data Blind Spot

Bernard Marr I have written many times about the exponential growth of big data, in jobs, applications, and scale. But in fact, there is one huge stumbling block that may limit big data’s growth and potential: math. Too few adults in the Western world are proficient at basic mathematics. And by basic mathematics, I am not referring to advanced statistical analysis or algorithms. I am talking about basic, primary school numerical skills. A study done by the UK government in 2003 that found that 47 percent of working-age adults in England lacked basic mathematics skills and, by 2011, that figure had risen to 49 percent! In the United States, a study found that only 16 percent of children of parents with a low level of education were deemed proficient in mathematics,…


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