Christine Anderson-Cook, Los Alamos National Laboratory, responds to the question,"What do you see happening in quality engineering in the next 10 years?"“In the last 10 years, we’ve moved from a little data era to a big data era, where I think a lot of managers feel like big data can be the solution to all of their problems, and that data has gotten a lot cheaper to collect with automation and also the availability of cheaper sensors.
"And so I think that actually pushes us into a new world. And what I’m hoping for, and I’m really imagining that it may take a while to evolve, but in the next 10 years I’d like to see us evolve from just being very much focused on big data to developing some strategies that connect big data to little data.
"So big data would be used as an exploratory tool to identify those trends that show potential for us to leverage, but then using designed experiments and small collections of data that are much more focused on establishing causality to be able to confirm what we’re seeing in the big data.
"If we can build that bridge, then I think we’re going to get maximum advantage out of the big data that we have and then also feel much more confident in our decisions going forward.”