Alphabet Soup and Epic Data


Once, a long time ago, I was pursued for a position at the company previously known as Google. I received a call from Google requesting a telephone interview. This was circa 2010 and I was employed at a Fortune 500 company. I was also a very vocal and early user of Google Analytics. But, I don’t think my use of Google Analytics, or any visibility I may have had as an early user had anything to do with being on Google’s radar screen as a potential employee.

 

Alphabet Soup

While I’ll probably never know for sure, I believe Google found me because I was part of the very early throng of engineers who posted a profile on LinkedIn when the online connector of all interstices first emerged. Armed with my publicly promoted collection of self aggrandizing sentences, Google probably scraped the internet for information supporting or disqualifying the profile they had been building about my skills and potential compatibility to an available position. Let’s face it, this is what Google does – scrapes the internet amassing information – and certainly does it with more gusto than any other commercial company on the planet.

This is beyond the age of “Big Data”. Data collection at Google’s scale is “Epic Data”

 

Epic Data

 I can’t count how many times I have heard the term Big Data in context to the enormous volume of device parametric and process test results my industry collects. This data spans across the entire multi-generational life cycle of a semiconductor product. Even with the most sophisticated tools, we must slice and dice a portion of the entire [Big Data] set so that we can visualize select parts and pieces. We then use it to triangulate with other slices of data sets on different test platforms to build a performance profile, validate test integrity or establish a predictive process model. This is not only inefficient, it is myopic and parochial.

 

Google has an incredible lead on data collection, archival and most importantly, mining the “actionable” minutia from massively aggregated data. This is beyond the age of “Big Data”. Data collection at Google’s scale is Epic Data.

 

  I appreciate and applaud Google’s recent demotion to commodity products provider. Maybe they will expand their reach beyond manipulative marketing and into manufacturing and mining of Epic Data.

 

My Career at Google

So, what happened during my call with Google? I semi-politely terminated the interview after about three minutes. The manner of their interview chapped me. Google spoke as if they knew more about me than I knew about myself. Imagine that.

 

Full disclosure: The author holds shares of Google ne. Alphabet.

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