Journalists Who Write On Tech Need To Understand The Jargon

Is an effort to harness the predictive potential of data more of a story about “big data”, or a story about the code required to harness it? From the headline of an article written by Rachel Emma Silverman, titled “Bosses Harness Big Data to Predict Which Workers Might Get Sick” readers are likely to decide on the first choice, meaning “big data”.

But the useful information Silverman presents has to do with the methods several firms, including: Castlight Healthcare, Inc., Welltok, Inc. Jiff Inc., ActiveHealth Management, Inc., have developed to harness the data. Of course, all of this falls within the realm of predictive analytics as it is applied to risk management.

The reason why journalists may want to better grasp the hierarchies of tech at work in a particular solution — like this one — is to help readers develop a notion of the continuity implicit to this kind of tech. Machine learning is a very popular notion, presently, and, at the same time, a semantic label perched very high up on the “hype” chart. So by focusing on the predictive analytics nature of the tech at work for Walmart, and the other clients of the firms portrayed in Silverman’s article, a lot of the air might come out of the machine learning notion — a net benefit for readers.

ISVs will also benefit as the public will develop a better understanding of their offers.

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