Big Data Blockbusters: 3 Movies Where Wicked Data Drives the Plot

Since it’s the holiday season and many of us are finding time to catch a flick or two with friends or family members, I wanted to highlight Bill Schmarzo’s clever blog post in which he highlights five movies where big data drives the plot. Two of my favorites from Schmarzo’s list include:

Live Free or Die Hard: Schmarzo summarizes the movie as “Data scientist hacker takes over every on-the-grid network, video camera, phone networks and databases. Evil data scientist is able to access, analyze, and act on real-time data feeds from all the surveillance and information systems in order to thwart our heroes from saving the day.” The brilliant hacker is no match for a brutish cop, but big data almost becomes our own worst enemy.

I Robot: Again, Schmarzo describes the plot as, “VIKI, which stands for Virtual Interactive Kinetic Intelligence…leverages massive amounts of data and computational power to take control of the world’s robots in order to protect man from himself. Will Smith plays an old-school, data warehouse-type guy who doesn’t trust robots (or likely big data)…” If folks in your office already freak out over big data, don’t recommend this movie. Robots taking over is far more fearsome.

A third submission for your consideration was offered by one of the blog’s commenters:

The Matrix: “Certainly the Matrix series (or at least the original) must be included here as the entire matrix was/is data. Each human was kind of his or her own “node” while the connections they made were the relationships. They essentially had their own graph database going full bore, that is until NEO came and messed it all up!” I mean, maybe we already are a bunch of big cosmic data melded together to form something that resembles life. Pass the red pill, please.

Schmarzo caps the blog with three lessons that he derives from big data, so be sure to read the full post. I think you’ll find it both amusing and insightful.

What other movies would you say place big data in a leading role?


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Mark Hammer

How could you/they forget Moneyball?! It was the economist/statistician’s dream-come-true revenge movie, in which the weapon of choice is regression analysis, and the playing-a-hunch guys take a line drive right in the decimal point.