The era of big data presents incredible opportunities -- smarter cities, stronger companies, faster medicine -- but just as many challenges. Storage is scarce, systems overloaded, governments and businesses know too much. The world now contains unimaginably vast amounts of digital information, which is growing exponentially. Managed well, this data can be used to engineer new engines of economic value, unlock scientific breakthroughs, and hold politicians accountable. Managed poorly, it can cause great harm.
The financial crisis showed that complex models that analyze large quantities of data do not always reflect financial risk in the real world. The financial crisis was sparked by big data -- and there will be others. But the data deluge will also generate millions of new ideas for how to solve big problems, build new markets, and expand existing ones. Ideas Economy: Information is a fresh look at knowledge management for the information age.
The Economist will bring together theorists, strategists, and innovators who understand how to harness data to create value and advance individual, corporate, and social good. We will sift through the vast quantities of current thinking on data to uncover the best ways forward. And we will apply the lessons of the Ideas Economy, about innovation, human capital, and intelligent infrastructure, to uncover new sources of growth and accelerate human progress across the globe.
Appointed to this role in November 2010, John’s is responsible for leading the company’s innovation and new business opportunities across online and e-commerce. For two years prior to this role, John was CEO of Nielsen’s Online division where he led the company’s global internet measurement business. During his tenure as CEO, John established strategic relationships with industry leaders such as Facebook, and continued Nielsen’s growth in key international markets. Prior to his Online role, John served as Chief Marketing Officer for Nielsen. Before Nielsen, John was Chief Marketing Officer for AOL, and before that, he served as Vice President Marketing at AT&T / Cingular where he lead the company’s consumer growth segments and new media programs. For 10 years, John was employed by the Procter & Gamble Company where he pioneered online marketing and e-commerce activities on the Pampers brand. Earlier in his career, John worked for the Chicago Tribune Company. He received a BA and MBA from the University of Chicago.
Alexandra Suich is a finance correspondent, based in New York, where she covers hedge funds and private equity. She also helps coordinate The Economist's online debate series (www.economist.com/debate).
Previously, she wrote for the business and U.S. sections of the magazine. In addition to writing for The Economist, she has published articles with Newsweek International, Slate, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Nation. She graduated from Yale, where she double-majored in history and African studies and was designated a Yale Journalism Scholar.