You may have seen in the news that 17 plays attributed to William Shakespeare were discovered to have been written in collaboration with other playwrights. Long a source of debate, the (co-)authorship of Shakespeare’s plays has until now been uncertain, but with the use of big data, scholars have been able to piece together the puzzle and come up with some very interesting new insights.
To make a long story short, reputed rival Christopher Marlowe co-penned the Henry VI trilogy, while Thomas Middleton adapted All’s Well That Ends Well. That’s all very well, you might say, but how does it relate to big data, and finding an effective way to manage that data for my business?
Here’s where it gets interesting. Information has been around for centuries regarding the authorship of these plays, but it was only with the emergence of big data that scholars could prove it was reliable. They used an extensive data catalog that enabled precise comparisons of different authors. Locating, collating, cross-referencing and assessing the data they now had regarding terms, language and idiolect, they were able to determine that more than one author was involved. The result, exciting new insights.