Posted by: pauditore | March 26, 2013

Understanding Your Data Sphere: Is Big Data Big Brother?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe age of analytics has arrived.  Now nearly everything you do online and even offline in your daily life is out there and in many cases easily harvested for analysis by nearly any company or organization. And thanks to smart phones and tablets you can be tracked and monitored virtually everywhere. You can be stalked more easily than ever by predators that want your credit and identity or those that have nefarious desires. The good news is they also leave a digital trail. For years retailers have attempted to track our credit card spending, but they still don’t know how to use and leverage the data. In other words, “they still don’t know who we are.” But the age of Internet and now the advent of rich social media peer groups and the modern era of mobile computing  has changed all of that.

Big brother is here now in the form of big data, which is collected in many ways but primarily by search engines, algorithms and sophisticated bots that now watch everything you do online. And that includes all mobile interactions now captured by the telecommunications companies, and by all those applications on your smart phone.

The authorities can now subpoena your phone records, FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn interactions. We all love our applications and information, but in the age of big data and analytics all is not necessarily good. Let’s take a look at your digital exhaust and what is obvious in our environments and all the data points that are now collected about your behavior on and offline.

Big Data and Your Data Sphere

  • FICO Scores
  • Purchasing data collected a time of purchase
  • HIPPA and health records
  • Gun back ground checks
  • Videos in your neighborhood:
    • City police surveillance
    • Business surveillance
    • Intersection red light monitoring
    • Personal home surveillance videos
    • ATMs.
    • YouTube
    • Smart Phone Applications that track your location (Lunch Box for example)
    • Yelp (every review you complete leaves a track record)
    • TripAdvisor (the same as Yelp and now they now what hotels you frequent.)
    • Flickr (every photo here is everyone’s)
    • Google, Bing, Yahoo searches (they know all your search patterns)
    • Twitter (you are what you tweet)
    • FaceBook friends (this is the next realm in geo-political insights)
    • LinkedIn connections (profiles nearly all your business connections)
    • Social media enabled traditional journalism (every comment you make on any story is archived and reveals your politics and position on the news.
    • Your blog

Is Google Big Brother?

Yes and no. Google is archiving tremendous masses of data directly related to what you search for and knows more about you than your family and friends. Just imagine the view from the Google nest, they know so much about what is going on all over the world just from searches and search phases that it is down right scary. Think about the implications of this in business and in the geo-political landscape. They are in an amazing position and at this time can probably predict sales of any product or service on nearly a global basis.

Net/Net: This new era of big data and analytics is now hitting like an earthquake, and the seismic wave of data is traveling at Internet speed globally will not be good for all. It won’t be long before Insurance companies will use predictive analysis on your behavior and genome before they decide you are a good risk. This is already happening in financial services where they are conducting serious risk analysis scenarios on their customer base. The problem is they don’t make the effort to invest in enterprise risk analysis on their own investments and business initiatives. When they fail we pay for it as we have witnessed during our great recession, or what Ram Charan calls “a global economic restructuring.” Until next time I wish you great marketing and selling in this millennium.

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