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April 18, 2012

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In a nutshell: find the Black Swans. But, how important, commercially, are such outliers? The question is seldom addressed directly. Unless there is some business (or, possibly, social mandate) where the outliers can be serviced at unusually high profit, it's just a waste of time and money. I'd love to witness a confrontation between a Big Data Advocate and Philipp Janert (or someone of his ilk).

We do see this black swan hunt in the pharma business; companies spend ever more money seeking approval of drugs which treat small groups of patients. FDA allows the companies to charge any price for such Orphan Drugs for long periods of time. Whether this is good public policy is not addressed.

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