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March 20, 2013

What If Big Data Is Wrong?

by cullof

One of the many accounts I follow on twitter is @petechasmore of Mashable. Beside being a prolific tweet for the social new aggregate he is also I pretty funny dude. More than a couple of times a day I click on a link and browse at a Mashable post (or at least leave it in a lonely browser tab).

Today I came across this provocative blast suggesting that Big Data may not be all it’s cracked up to be. We’ve heard about the wonders of Big Data and the challenges to sift through it from S&S right up until our last class. We know that it helps marketers understand even the most seemingly trivial bit of minutia to laser pinpoint ads. And yet many of us have had that weird Facebook ad that makes us ask “Why did they think I wanted to see that!

While it’s not a big sample size (or really anything more than a thinly veiled advertisement for Enliken) it does pose an important question. What if all this data we’re collecting, that we’re spending all this money and time to analyze, isn’t actually correct? Curious to see what my data says about me I took the quiz too. According to Enliken advertisers are about 59% correct about my likes and dislikes. Some of them it’s pretty obvious why they are there. Sure, I google and read about finance–but it’s not an interest of mine. That’s pedantic, but some were really off base: I don’t speak Spanish, I’m not a car buff, or, gods forbid, looking for parenting advice.

I sure do like southeast Asian food, so they got that right.

Take the quiz here.

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