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Quantitative change has led to a qualitative one. Big data refers to things one can do at a large scale that cannot be done at a smaller one. With information, as with physics, size matters. It leads society to abandon its time-honored preference for causality, and in many instances tap the benefits of correlation. Social sciences have lost their monopoly on making sense of empirical social data. There is a premium on diversity within a group and in society at large. Correlations lie at the heart of big data and are now used so frequently that we sometimes fail to appreciate their inroads. FICO is also used as a cheap proxy for people’s income levels. MOOC (massive open online courses) may upend the entire education industry and pop the growing cost bubble. Infrastructures were focused on flows of water and knowledge, as were the telephone and the internet. In contrast, Datafication represents an essential enrichment in human comprehension. It is almost certain that the value of data will show up on corporate balance sheets and emerge as a new asset class. Data is to the information society what fuel was to the industrial economy.

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