If you don’t want to read the whole book, read this.
It’ll take 6 minutes.

Maybe you’re short on time. Or maybe you don’t trust your math skills. But you totally get that data algebra could solve today’s massive Big Data challenges. This is your cheatsheet.

60 Seconds

The 1-Minute Intro

Our book, The Algebra of Data: The Foundation of the Data Economy (substantially revised edition), has two clear purposes: to explain data algebra in a way that makes it as accessible as possible, and to make serious readers familiar enough with data algebra to actually use it.

Still, we expect some casual readers to download The Algebra of Data entirely out of curiosity – to see what data algebra is. For them (you?), we split the book between chapters that delve into the mathematics and others that just talk about it. If you’re a less intense reader,

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75 Seconds

What Machiavelli Said About Launching Something New

Machiavelli’s advice: Don’t do it. In his words: “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”

We took Machiavelli’s warning to heart. The algebra of data is a new application of mathematics that has existed as a set of usable techniques since 2012. Mathematicians who are experienced with it will tell you there is nothing new about it in the pure mathematical sense. For example, there was no need to modify set theory to formulate the various algebras that make up the algebra of data (yes, it comprises more than one algebra).

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70 Seconds

What Are the Chances of Global Domination?

How likely is the algebra of data to be widely adopted? Here’s philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer’s answer: “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

Thankfully, data algebra will not have to pass through this kind of painful intellectual baptism. From a mathematical point of view, it is indisputable because it involves no new mathematics. It is applied set theory.

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52 Seconds

An Irresistible Force

There’s almost no question that data algebra will lead to the invention of many useful algebraic techniques that either simplify data manipulation or dramatically increase its speed.

The last time that mathematics made such a contribution to the field of IT was fifty years ago, in 1965, with the invention of what’s known as the “fast Fourier transform” (FFT). The FFT dramatically speeds up certain critical calculations, making them run as much as 1,000 to 100,000 times faster.

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105 Seconds

Data Algebra and the Data Economy

This is only the dawn of the data economy. Fundamental changes are in motion that will affect the lives of people, industries and governments in dramatic ways. And a powerful confluence of exciting technology developments and business innovations is driving it.

Big Data Was the Tip-Off

The data economy was heralded by Big Data, which acquired a life of its own, engendering a host of new software and allowing businesses to gather and analyze masses of data. Big Data likely accelerated the arrival of the Internet of Things, which now has billions of sensors and devices generating more data than anyone could have ever imagined.

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