There is a lot of “white noise” surrounding the term Big Data being pushed mainly by fear, which is one of the strongest motivators out there. But how do we sift through all the white noise and base our understanding of Big Data on fact instead of fiction? How can Big Data be made to work in the average Joe’s favor? First off fear is generated by the unknown, so learn all you can about Big Data, how it’s collected and what that information is being used for. Most producers are well aware of the benefits that can be gleaned from big data; they are also well aware of the privacy issues surrounding such data; thus they should ask questions - find out how data is being collected, by whom, and who has rights to it. Talk to the experts, ag leaders, university extension people. Last month a coalition of farm organizations and ag technology providers announced an agreement on principles governing the use of data collected from farms - definitely a step in the right direction. It’s all too easy to let fear and emotion take over when it comes to dealing with Big Data. It’s okay to be cautious, but temper that with knowledge.