Data Analytics: So, What’s Your Algorithm? –

This article announces a brave new world of data analysis in marketing and business.  It reminds me of some comments that my aunt, retired from her job as a lawyer at a big insurance company, made to me a few weeks ago.  In sum, she told me that the amount of data that is collected about our lives now is staggering.  A big insurance company, sharing information with financial institutions, credit card companies, data miners of all sorts, now has enough information about a typical individual that it can predict with 95% certainty whether his or her marriage will last 3 years.  The company can predict whether you will declare bankruptcy with similar accuracy.  As this WSJ article makes clear, the data out there in the world is now readily analyzed by handy computer programs that can detect purchasing patterns, and predict consumer behavior.  The software doesn’t necessarily need to be trained to look for something specific.  Like other software I know about through digital humanities (topic modeling, etc.), the software just finds patterns, “genetic twins,” similarities, and irregularities in data.  Analytic companies can market this information to businesses that can use it.  It’s a brave new world.

Data Analytics: So, What’s Your Algorithm? –


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