For many businesses, big data is superfluous. Except, a recently-published paper on the mathematics of big data reveals, when it isn’t, Quartz reports.

It turns out there is a kind of data that, like black holes or evil wizards of Middle Earth, only becomes more powerful the larger it grows.

What’s more, suggest researchers Enric Junqué de Fortuny, David Martens and Foster Provost, even if you’re not gathering this kind of data at present, the new results suggest you may lose out to a competitor who is.

To understand what’s going on—stay with us, it’s worth it—you have to know whether your data is...

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