Rajaraman’s First Law: More Data will beat Better Software

Mar 31, 2008 / By Paul Vallee

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After the interesting comment storm on Doug’s blog when he posted some of Tim Gorman’s comments on the value of data in his career experiences as compared to the value of the applications manipulating that data, I hesitate a little to post this.

But, I can’t stop myself because it’s such an interesting insight!

Anand Rajaraman, ex-Director of Technology at Amazon.com posted this useful insight that builds on Tim’s. It’s not data vs software as seen by Tim, it’s one step further – more data vs better software.

I like this idea so much I’m hereby dubbing it Rajamaran’s First Law. (Anand, if you haven’t been numbering your laws yet this’ll get you started!)

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3 Responses to “Rajaraman’s First Law: More Data will beat Better Software”

  • Sheeri Cabral says:

    To be fair, “more” data is vague — it’s really “different” data that helps here. There’s another dimension being added, the categories from IMDB, that help.

    The problem with algorithms is they try to be smart, and guess what’s going to happen. Data mining makes conclusions based on what’s already happened, so the algorithms of the future are adaptive ones that can act one way and then determine if they should continue to act that way.

    It took data mining to realize that people buy beer and diapers at the same time; “smart” people can guess pairing peanut butter and jelly or peanut butter and milk. But sometimes it’s better to be lazy than smart. :)

    And I think “more data” leads to “better software” which leads to “more data”….

  • Paul Vallee says:

    It took data mining to realize that people buy beer and diapers at the same time;

    Not in Ontario, Sheeri!!!

  • […] here again, Paul Vallée submits what he dubs Rajaraman’s First Law: more data will beat better […]

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