My favorite quotes from this post are:
“Data has no inherent value. To be useful, data must flow to agents who will ultimately process, analyze, and synthesize it to produce information that drives decisions. The recent conversation in DoD has focused on what is referred to as the “big data problem,” that is, since we don’t know what’s important in the data being collected, everything must be saved. But this is much harder than it sounds.”
“Data is not important. It’s the information that can be gleaned from the data that matters. The old data paradigm emphasizes precision: save only what you consider to be relevant at the time the data is collected. This approach works only so long as you are dealing with a more or less static context where “relevance” can be readily established.”
Relevance is not an attribute. It’s a relationship, or a complex mapping that has sources, targets, and attribute values on the link. Consider this abstract function:
Relevance = F(source, content, context; me, my role, my situation, my company; the environment and set of competitors and space of potential actions).
Because of these considerations, you can see why relevance is elusive and non-comparable across markets, uses, and situations. THerefore aggregate sums and statistics on relevance are even more problematic.