BLOG fans - drop me a message if you have a particular item of interest that you want me to bring back with me from StrataWorld.

As I roll into the last two weeks before I depart for StrataWorld in San Jose (a massive Hadoop conference), the universe around me is reflecting my anticipation for the knowledge that I’m about to absorb there. For example, as I lumbered over the peak of the Harbour Bridge this week and glanced at Auckland’s CBD still silhouetted against the stars in the pre-dawn hours enroute to Auckland Airport, Jeremy Wells on Radio Hauraki spun Dangerous by the Brooklyn electro pop artist known as BIG DATA. Not only does this song have killer loops but if you listen to the lyrics you’ll to pick up the cautionary tale about how all the data being collected on us and all devices every day can be used – “How could they know? How could they know? Didn’t you know they have a plan for us?”

Ok, so that’s a bit dark for a mid-week trip to Welly. But then again, a few weeks ago I was reading an article on a newspaper’s iphone app about the terrorist on an Egyptian airliner who blew up his fake wheelchair and only ejected himself from the aircraft for his efforts. Justice was served that day but as I read the article, I was offered flight deals from a well known international airline to Thailand. Well, this is a great example for when Big Data becomes Bad Data, and while it may not be evil it certainly left me with lower sentiment about the airline. The triggers and algorithms nested within the news app and linked to app offers from their clients would have been better off recommending travel insurance, or any insurance for that matter.

So, where did Big Data go wrong in this example? The tech didn’t fail – it made me an offer when I was browsing an airline related article. My guess is that a business rule got missed when either the advertiser, media company, app company, or client setup the triggers or parameters regarding when travel offers were to be made. So, Big Data didn’t go bad here, but the people using it did.

Is this similar to the handgun debate in the USA?

I’ll tell you in 3 weeks when I’m back in my home country amidst the gun toting Trump followers...

In the meantime, enjoy the Big Data Dangerous video.

For my BLOG fans - drop me a message if you have a particular item of interest that you want me to bring back with me from StrataWorld.

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Devin Deen

As Director, Data & Analytics at enterprise IT, Devin ensures customers get to navigate, much more easily, the complexities of implementing data warehouse, data management, business intelligence and business analytic tools and solutions. Outside of e-IT he is active in the NZ tech-startup community and directly involved with successful SaaS company,

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