29. Big Data

Big data is all around.
The digital world records our every move. Not just once, but many times creating pictures and footprints of our lives. It can predict our consumption and lifestyle. The nearest old example is the census.This is big data: a population of people contributing to predicting habits and trends.

But it cannot compete with the millions of pieces of collected digital data every day.
Data sets, groups of data. The range of data is incredible.
We are all just beginning to wake up to the fact that we have no control over its collection.

For example a US superstore tracked what its customers were buying through its store card. The company tried to predict when its customers were pregnant. Stopping buying alcohol? Buying odour free body soap? The company set up a pregnancy predictor, and sent out relevant vouchers to the predicted customers.

In 2012 a father of a teenage daughter complained to the company that they were sending his daughter these vouchers. He felt they were accusing his daughter of being preganant when she wasn’t.  The company apologised and made a follow up call to apologise further. The Father had had an opportunity to speak to his daughter and she was actually pregnant.
She had been found out.
Big Data.


Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2018
All rights reserved
Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique


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