The UNDP has put out a series of blog posts that help explain the current landscape of Big Data discussions. I would highly suggest browsing these articles if you are interested in finding out more about why this debate is important and what it means for the future of open/transparent aid data:
Can Big Data Help Deliver Better Operational Results January 11, 2013
Can open data cast new light on poverty reduction? February 20, 2013
In December 2012, the World Bank (a major leader in open aid data and gate keeper for large datasets) held a webcast about Big Data/ Big Stats that can be watched here, if you are a visual learner.
Upcoming Event Alert:
If you live in the DC area or are willing to travel, the World Bank will be hosting a Data Dive event (in partnership with Data Kind) from March 15-17. Event info is posted here – it should be a great opportunity for all of us data nerds to sink our teeth into massive datasets.