Scary Data Analytics

Most commonly applied in boosting the efficiency of a measurable processes, data analytics is hardly scary by any means. Well, just like the machines or any product of the human knowledge at all, data analytics can be a scary tool. The frightening element within data analytics is not the power of data but its usage. Prior to Halloween, we would like to share a few scary data analytics applications out of real life.

Chinese government is going to score how good its citizens are

This one is big! The Chinese government launched Social Credit System. It is still in its beta but its public and the participation is voluntary. By the end of 2020, it will be mandatory. By applying scoring analytical models, the government will estimate the trustworthiness of the people. This is where George Orwell and data analytics have a meeting. Your performance there will affect the chances of a new job and career paths, dating opportunities, access to credit, access to fast internet speed, access to restaurants, nightclubs and even golf courses.

The scope of such system is way above anything else, not just because of the Chinese dimensions. For sure, it is producing way more questions than answers.

Brexit referendum & Trump elections were interfered by data analytics

Just as the Brexit, Donald Trump presidential victory was nothing less than surprise. Polls were widely generous on potential Hillary Clinton success as well as a Remain for Brexit. But the morning after, things were different. The truth is that polls are giving probabilities. FiveThrityEight` poll gave 85% chances for Clinton which mean that there was 15% probability for her to lose.

Another one is widely spreading the polls results. This might turn into bad favor for the poll winner because such information might discourage supporters to vote because they feel the victory is already secured. Such bias can’t be modeled or predicted.

According to Wall Street Journal, Trump`s campaign was alerted by its data analytics team within the morning of the election day that there is more than 50% chance for Trump to win the presidency. A day earlier the chance of winning was just 30%.

The local retailers know if your daughter is pregnant way before you do

This is one of the most popular data analytics stories suggesting the scale of the impact it might have on our lives. Utilizing analytics models fueled by purchasing habits data, Target chain of stores is capable of predicting if a woman is pregnant. A year after this model went live, a father stormed into a Minneapolis Target store demanding to know if the coupons for baby clothes received by his young daughter are some kind of encouragement to become pregnant. Later, the father met the Target store manager once again, just to tell him his daughter is pregnant for real.

Data analytics makes possible for merchants not just to know if your family is expecting a new member but also the diseases you are suffering from and other life-changing events that you might not like to share. Predictive models work. How we utilize them is another but still important story.

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