Briefly (just about out the door for Whistler), this article by Google researchers is worth a read: The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Data. There is a lot in it with which I agree - especially the stuff on mining tables (my thesis was on Information Extraction from Tables). However, keep in mind a few points when you read it:
- Data may be unreasonably effective, but effective at what?
- Despite all the ontology nay sayers, a big chunk of our world is structured due to the well organized, systematic and predictable ways in which industry, society and even biology creates stuff.
Data with no theory is all very well, but reasoning cannot be done without a world of semantic objects.