Companies Harvesting Data to Learn Your Secrets

Description: Andrew Pole had just started working as a statistician for Target i, when two colleagues from the marketing department stopped by his desk to ask an odd question: “If we wanted to figure out if a customer is pregnant, even if she didn’t want us to know, can you do that? ”


Date: Feb 6, 2012


The desire to collect information on customers is not new for Target or any other large retailer, of course. For decades, Target has collected vast amounts of data on every person who regularly walks into one of its stores. Whenever possible, Target assigns each shopper a unique code — known internally as the Guest ID number — that keeps tabs on everything they buy. “If you use a credit card or a coupon, or fill out a survey, or mail in a refund, or call the customer help line, or open an e-mail we’ve sent you or visit our Web site, we’ll record it and link it to your Guest ID,” Pole said. “We want to know everything we can.”

Also linked to your Guest ID is demographic information like your age, whether you are married and have kids, which part of town you live in, how long it takes you to drive to the store, your estimated salary, whether you’ve moved recently, what credit cards you carry in your wallet and what Web sites you visit. Target can buy data about your ethnicity, job history, the magazines you read, if you’ve ever declared bankruptcy or got divorced, the year you bought (or lost) your house, where you went to college, what kinds of topics you talk about online, whether you prefer certain brands of coffee, paper towels, cereal or applesauce, your political leanings, reading habits, charitable giving and the number of cars you own.    READ REST OF STORY

 Questions for discussion:

1. Reflecting on this article, does ther ever come a time when you feel there is too much data out in the public sphere about you?  Why or Why not?

2.  What are some applications of this BIG DATA technology that you would find exciting as a manager of a business?


83 thoughts on “Companies Harvesting Data to Learn Your Secrets

  1. Lindsay Versteeg

    After reading this I do find that as a consumer there is way too much data out in the public about us. They are not only collecting small samples of data they are collecting all data possible and studying it. It feels like an invasion of privacy and we can’t even shop anymore without being watched. The fact that they know people are pregnant is a bit unsettling. They mentioned that they sent a flyer to a girl in high school whose parents didn’t even know she was pregnant yet and I think that might be taking it a bit too far. From Targets perspective though this seems to be working great for them and if they stay within legal limits they have the right to collect and process this data. They have an advantage with Poles expertise which gets them ahead of other companies who may not study the data as much. As the manager of this company I would find it exciting that we are able to get the consumer into the store to buy what we know they need such as diapers and they will likely walk around and pick up a few other things. If we can send them coupons for diapers they will come in to get that and leave with other things that they see along the way. As a manager, I would also feel a bit scared about the invasion of privacy and how it might affect the business if people find out about all the data Target has about them. People may get angry and offended by this and not shop there again.

  2. Daman Singh

    Based on the article, I don’t feel as though there is a lot of data about me out in the public sphere. This is due to the fact that most of the data that Target used to analyze and target their customers, wasn’t necessarily put out by these individuals. These were mostly habits and shopping patterns that Target picked up on and analyzed, which was genius. This type of data accumulation is very similar to Amazon also analyzing your buying patterns and making suggestions, which is different from an individual willingly posting these things online on social media platforms. After reading the article, it has become more evident that the use of business intelligence in the field of marketing can really change the shape of a product and the reputation of the company. The example given in the article regarding Febreze is probably the most effective ways to explain that data is useless without context. Collecting data means nothing if there is no way to analyze it and the way Febreze and Target have analyzed data-whether given to them willingly or not, is spectacular. Knowing your customers, their buying habits and predicting their needs has become such an integral part of a marketing and business plan that it seems impossible to understand how companies advertised and made money before this type of technology was made available.
    Applying the knowledge gathered from big data to physically position items in a store would be an exciting study. Placing items that shoppers always buy together, for example- bread, eggs, butter, and milk. Planning to design the bakery section near the dairy section would be beneficial because all of the items a shopper needs are in the same are. However, using the technique and adding a smaller juice or yogurt section between the two would also affect the shopper. They would have to walk past the juice or yogurt in order to get to the dairy section, and since they are buying breakfast foods, they may make the impulsive decision to buy juice and/or yogurt as well. I think the application of big data to design a grocery store or supercenter would be extremely exciting.

  3. Cheryl Desaunoy

    Trying to out run a Tsunami would be an appropriate description of trying to avoid BIG DATA technology and its applications in most everything we do, use, or purchase as consumers. As a relatively new reality, BIG DATA still makes many people uncomfortable in the discussion of exactly how much data is already collected on our personal habits of spending leisure time and locations, purchasing everything from routine grocery and clothing items to luxury and big dollar investments like homes and vehicles.
    As a manager of a business, one of the applications of BIG DATA that would be most exciting would be the access to the profiling of employee soft skills and technological applications based on the Key Performance Indicators of the business requirements (KPI’s) cross referenced with the college and universities in the area. As BIG DATA can scan resumes now for key words, these screening devices can be biased if the applicant understands the screening and knows what words to use. I’m referring to a profiling of recently trained students according to their classes attended or training completed. Risk takers, diligent class attendees, responsible assignment submitters, loafers, free riders, competitive
    candidates all could be identified with the same customer profiling programs that businesses use to
    better serve their customers. As the Human Resources industry has grown and evolved into a multidisciplined and complex department within business, the cost of labour that results in an unsuccessful employment hire has a tremendous impact on the survival of many small businesses as well as large corporations. I believe that BIG DATA could save valuable time, effort and money for both the employee seeking satisfying work and the business requirements for skilled employees.

  4. Callum Wallace

    This is a widely contested debate and one that I have an opinion which does not automatically coincide with many. Yes, there is a lot of data out there on people, our likes, dislike, habits and even our daily whereabouts. The use of that data for advertisement and marketing purposes is not something that bothers me. Since beginning my management degree, I’ve grown a new appreciation for companies that do it right. To me, companies like target collecting information on you and your sales history isn’t a bad thing. If they have the capability to collect the data, refine it and utilize it to their commercial advantage that good for them. However, I am somewhat reserved with what it is I post about myself or my family when on the internet, I think that something people ought to do is to educate themselves about the use of their data collected on the internet and through other means.

    I find predictive analytics fascinating, the ability to know what is going to happen before it happens on the basis of numbers is something that interests me greatly. What interests me even more is the amount to which the information can be drilled down to individual products and persons. This allows companies to giver consumers a better customer experience whilst increasing their revenues as a result of more satisfied customers. This predictive analytics allows companies to discover consumer behaviours and habits and even further tailor advertising and experience to that individual customer. However, it can be daunting and an uneasy thought when considering company’s like Target can know more about you than you’d care to tell some of your friends. And their exact intentions with the collected data aren’t completely known, so with that I do have some reservations.

  5. Taylor Cassidy

    Reflecting on the article now, I believe that there is a lot of data out there about everyone and it is a little unsettling. Now of course there is more data out there on some people than others, but it still feels like an invasion of privacy nevertheless. It is hard to be able to monitor all the data that you are releasing into the world. With famous people, it is even more a challenge since there is information being taken and posted about them. All the data that I have out there on me I don’t even realize how much it has been spread, read or even studied. Those thoughts freak me out, and that is even why its hard to edit what has been out there. On top of this they also have cookies which remember what data you have searched for and puts little ads on the browsers you are looking at. All of these little things make it difficult to control the amount of data that is being posted on the web about you.
    Some technology of this BIG DATA that I would find exciting, is that it enables the business to get a grasp of what consumers are looking for. It helps to figure out your demographic and in the end results in your business excelling in their customer recognition.
    This technological age has its abilities to reimagine the way you market and advertise and collect information about your customers.

  6. Cody Dick

    1. Reflecting on this article, does there ever come a time when you feel there is too much data out in the public sphere about you? Why or Why not?
    Yes absolutely, which is why if you were to search me online you’d find almost nothing. I think online personality should be used for business and networking purposes but the amount of data we freely give to companies like google and Facebook are concerning. There is a reason these are free and as the saying goes if your not paying then your the product and not the consumer. Unless you take measures which are often difficult and not easy then your data is being used. Mostly this is for selling you things which I have no problem with but when companies like google know where you are via GPS tracking every single day and use it to better their business model it becomes and invasion of privacy.

    2. What are some applications of this BIG DATA technology that you would find exciting as a manager of a business?
    The reason that BIG DATA is such a growing industry is because it is great for learning how your customer may interact with your efforts as a business. Even using google ad-sense online you have lots of demographic information as well and various data points that help you streamline your ad campaign. Opportunities to better capture the market is everywhere so long as you don’t get too focused on every data point and focus on important measurements and information.

  7. Braden Marks

    Informational data is cool, how we can grab data and get a glimpse into any person’s life. But there is a point where there seems to be too much data that is could affect our personal life. Information about a person online needs to be kept very secure or it is very easy to put that individual into distress. I feel there is enough information online about people but to what extent is it kept secure is the real question. Data is needed on people otherwise it’s impossible to identify any person. By keeping data about people in a data base or online, for example the police, it is easier for them to identify a person and secure safety to the other people around. Data identifies if a person is dangerous or safe and whether a person should not be where they are etc. There is a lot of data online about us but it’s to keep us safe and secure. The amount of data other people see, on the other hand is up to them. Depending on what they post, if a person does not like the amount of data online available about them they can simply choose not to post anything personal online and that will not be an issue.

  8. Norman Gould

    Yes, some days I do feel too much information is out there about me. Just like the article talked about Targets ID for a person, Air miles at Safeway acts the same way. Every month you get a flyer in the mail stating that you can get bonus air miles when you buy these products. Why this bothers me is that I usually have to explain to my wife that it is because of big data that they sent these items to us not just some random are we lucky we can save on these items this month.

  9. Joshua Wong

    After reading information on this article it really emphasized just how much data is actually out there on the net about users. The biggest examples are in social media and the collection of data of each profile. While Facebook is very secure the issue is that not everyone knows how to set up options on how to utilize the privacy blockers. This information while very beneficial to companies and can improve efficiency and revenues can be a bit invasive. Once someone has your data there is not much you can do as most people don’t really think about how much information is out there. This is seen in companies that sell information about users on the internet. For managers and management teams big data can now target consumers more effectively. Decisions would be easier to make and the risk factor can be lowered. Any major social media platform worth their salt now has paid advertising that managers can utilize.

  10. Kelli Ober

    After reading this article I feel very vulnerable because I am unaware of what companies know about me and what they are selling to other companies. No matter the steps I take to protect my personal privacy, they will somehow still get a hand on it. It is also concerning to know the vast amount of information that companies gather, data you may never think would be useful. However, the main concern I have with my data being out there is who can get their hands on the data and the fact that companies sell the information to other companies. I see how it is helpful in the world of business to be able to be aware of what works and does not work, or what people like and dislike. But I believe that there is a better way of going about receiving the data. Nevertheless, as a management student BIG DATA is exciting to think about. We can now are able connect with consumer’s better and more efficiently, no matter their physical location. With the collection of data, it makes the processes of marketing and developing more efficient and less costly. Helps in creating new marketing segments and in targeting specific groups and individual people, helping to improve customer satisfaction.

  11. Jake Ichelson

    1. Reflecting on this article, does ther ever come a time when you feel there is too much data out in the public sphere about you? Why or Why not?
    I do believe there is way too much information that is being documented and sold on almost anyone who has an online presence of themselves. With social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Your interests, political and religious beliefs, and even the appearance
    of your family and friends is all on the internet available for anyone or anything to look at and track. Companies can use and abuse all this information that you have unknowingly provided to directly abuse the knowledge and attempt to bring you in to their store and purchase their products.
    2. What are some applications of this BIG DATA technology that you would find exciting as a manager of a business?
    As a manager of a business, I would be excited by the possibility that big data allows me to market everything specifically to every individual consumer. The ability to increase profits for my business would be very satisfying from a management perspective.

  12. Melinda

    Reading through this article was a bit alarming. There were times where i’ve signed up for something when I thought “why do they need to know this?” and after reading this I now have some incite as to why. I could see how and why a company may use predictive analytics but I would like to believe that I am not as easily predictable as a consumer. I do think there is too much information of individuals/myself on the internet and its a disappointing thought as well. Knowing now what I know I would have been more cautious as to what I decided to share. I don’t think that I have anything to hide despite things like my SIN number but it is disappointing to think of a situation where you were judged/treated unfairly based on something you posted that was interpreted in ways you didn’t intend on. In a lot of ways its an invasion of privacy.

    From a managerial perspective I do see how this is exciting. We are now able to make marketing companies very personal. Knowing that there is a target audience out there that you have the potential to persuade, big data technology makes sense. Big data is going to help to cut these advertising/marketing costs because you don’t have to target a wide target base if you don’t feel that its going to make a big difference. Big data technology is also making it possible to know what trends are currently happening and what you might expect to see, this is exciting in the way you choose to deliver your product/service. Instead of marketing/delivering to an audience in hopes that it will be successful, managers now have the availability of more informed forecasts.

  13. Clarke Binning

    personally i don’t think there is too much data that is publicly accessible. Early on in my social media life, i learned that its important to only post things online that you would be ok with a potential boss to see if they did a information search on you. It is possible that you may be able to see more information than i would want them to see but keeping things as private as i can is important in the social media world we live in. Through the use of big data many businesses could use that information to help better the business whether it comes from understanding trends in the environment around them or its understanding better what the customers like and dislikes. The double edge sword with big data is that sometimes you can learn to much and it may turn into an invasion of privacy, that is when care and caution comes into play.

  14. Carson Kleiboer

    Reflecting on this article it really opened my eyes as to how much data is actually out there in the public sphere about me. For example with social media everyone has pictures, contact information and even interests (likes. dislikes) out there on the internet for everyone to see. For example Facebook has privacy settings where random people cant see all of that stuff but for example a guy like me I don’t know how to turn those privacy settings on so that people cant see all of my pictures and information unless we are friends. Though I do understand why the companies collect all of this data on the population because they are trying to pinpoint who their potential consumers are I do not believe it is always necessary and I feel as though they are not always ethical with the data collected. For example I don’t really like the fact that their are companies out their that collect a ton of data on a population and then sell it to the highest bidder as though this private material is theirs to sell.
    To be honest one of the applications of big data tech that I would find exciting as a manager of a business is that of the target marketing on cell phones. How a person can search google one time for a certain thing and then for the next two weeks everything from Facebook to Instagram is hammering you with advertisements promoting that thing that you searched. Though I find it very annoying, its also very interesting how that works and how quickly it hits you up. I overall just find that use of data and technology in unison very fascinating.

  15. Brendan Ficiur

    It is definitely concerning how much data companies can gather about you. What is especially concerning who can get the data, as usually it is not just the company gathering the information using it, but other companies they sell it so. This is one area I believe we can better on, as there should be better rules making it clear when companies are selling information about you. However, when it comes to companies like Target collecting information on their customers, it is not realistic to expect them to stop. It is so easy these days, and the algorithms they have created are so accurate that there is no going back. However, they need to be careful how they use it to protect privacy as much as possible and make sure their customers don’t feel uncomfortable. For example, in the article they talk about how target had to put other coupons next to the baby related ones. Other companies, like Facebook, should probably figure out how to target customers without making them feel “spied on.”

    As a manager I would be excited about the ability to target individual consumers instead of having to target certain segments. This was not imaginable several years ago, but now companies have the means to do this, as well as the access to information on what your customers would respond to. As the article mentions, they can now get information that the customers never gave you, or that they don’t even know themselves. For a company this would be a fantastic innovation in marketing.

  16. Ian Hymers

    1. Reflecting on this article, does ther ever come a time when you feel there is too much data out in the public sphere about you? Why or Why not?

    I definitely think there is too much information out in the public about me. I do not worry about people observing me for business and marketing purposes because I know that it’s inevitable and it doesn’t intrude on my way of living at all. The biggest concern, personally, is the potential that malicious people or agencies could obtain information about the Canadian population and use it against us. This is when I feel there is too much data out in the public about all of us.

    2. What are some applications of this BIG DATA technology that you would find exciting as a manager of a business?

    Big data technology could be very exciting as a manager of a business. It could help us understand the customer. Of course, the argument made against this is that this data intrudes on our private lives. While this is true, it’s also true that most of the biggest businesses currently use big data to further focus their products on specific consumer markets. Until there is a law restricting the use of this data, I think it remains a great opportunity to focus on certain consumers and markets.

  17. Nicholas Benner

    With the proliferation of social media and complexity of big data, there appears to be more easily accessible information about people than ever before. Personal information that is gathered online is usually collected, processed, packaged, and sold to third party marketing companies in an effort to, which is extremely effective, increase online adds and tailor adds to individuals based on various algorithms. I personally feel that this is just fact of life going online and it will only get more so which is a sign of the times. Therefore, I do not take much of an issue with it. However, personal information can unfortunately also be used with a more malicious intent, which is becoming increasingly more and more common. This is where I do have an issue the vast amounts of data out in the public sphere, especially floating around in the hypersensitive state that much of the world appears to be currently in. A seemingly harmless and innocent post on a social media platform can be interpreted far differently than intended, either intentionally or unintentionally, and can be broadcasted far and wide and taken completely out of context. Such interactions can have very negative effects which can compromise employment and personal or business relationships. Using social media in a responsible and reasonable manor and not over sharing, I feel is a great way to avoid such happenings and ensure your online presence and personal information is valued and respected.

  18. Ben Cowan

    Personally, I don’t feel there is too much data out there about me, at least not right now. I don’t tend to put much data out there. I don’t update social media regularly, my online shopping habits are generally restricted to books (in which case, I can live with people knowing what books I buy and trying to market similar ones to me), and the things I buy in store are general enough that you could randomly assign products to my shopping habits and probably have a pretty good idea of what I buy.
    That being said, in general there probably is too much data being collected about people, particularly in the sense of breaching privacy and making an individual feel uncomfortable. The beginning of the article highlights Target employees attempting to determine when a woman is in her second trimester of pregnancy for the sheer sake of being able to get that woman to spend money in their store and their store only. While this practice of utilizing large amounts and type of data is not limited to Target, it does create a sense of invasion on the part of large companies. The article stresses that target is able to obtain data such as an estimated salary, an individual’s magazine browsing habits, and other information that one would generally consider private, if only for the sake of maintaining some information as private. There’s probably no immediate harm to a large corporation knowing a random individual’s salary range, but it could create a sense of unease for that individual and might induce them to no longer do business with the corporation if they can avoid it.

  19. Lambee Mangal

    No matter how many measures I take to protect my personal privacy and data, I still think about it every single day and feel extremely vulnerable. When it comes to social media, I am not as concerned. I limit my use or posting pictures or information on social media sites mostly because I don’t feel the need or want to and I think that people need to be more aware of what they share. I think people waste a lot of time scrolling through other people’s lives. And I can’t seem to wrap my head around people having addictions to phone. I find them to be extremely overwhelming. I went 8 months without a phone while traveling and survived. As a result, I picked up the habit of forgetting to check my phone or reply to people. However, what I am concerned about is the security and privacy of the personal information that is being gathered and shared without choice when ordering products online, logging into important financial or personal accounts, browsing the web or having used public WiFi’s in the past. After all, everything is stored in one place or another but proper knowledge of how to use the internet and awareness of the risks the prevent it is still important.

    As the manager of a business, the information technology and international development applications of BIG DATA would be the most exciting, as well as marketing.

  20. Alexander Moumdjian

    Yes, I do think there is too much data in the public sphere available. I find it very disconcerting that a company is able to pull my information up and see what my interests are, even when they have no clue who I am. I understand that using a public domain comes with some freedoms we must give up, but I especially think where the real problem comes in is the selling of this data to other businesses. However, as a manager of a business I would get excited when I see how much big data could affect my business. I would be able to better understand my consumer base and therefore better able to plan my future products around this. Ethically however, I would not feel comfortable selling this information for a profit, it would pose too much of a moral consequence on my conciounce.

  21. Scott Hill

    Honestly when thinking about the amount of information I have volunteered on the internet, I do get worried that I have given to much. I use all of my real information when signing up for anything or filling out anything on the internet and all that data is out there and could be used for I don’t even know what. I never read terms an service so I have no idea what these companies do with my information and what I have allowed them to do with it.
    As a manager I would really like having big data to use to figure out how to make my business more successful. By using the data collected from consumers I could help my business grow and expand to new marketplaces and people.

  22. Nicholas Herman

    Yes, I feel like there is too much data about me in the public sphere. I know websites like Facebook are tracking your every move while you are navigating their site as well as their apps. They are then in turn selling that information to other sites so they can target you with ads. I personally do not like this at all. I was searching on amazon the other day for a product to use while I work out. Not even 5 minutes later when I went to check my Instagram, I had ads for that specific product as well as for similar products all over my news feed. This plus a video I watched a while ago about a guy that got targeted by ads because facebook was listening to his conversations while he had the app open. Both of these factors led to me deleting the facebook app off my phone and have significantly reduced the amount of time I spend on the site. But this makes me think about what other information they have about me saved on servers somewhere and that they are selling to others without my knowledge. It feels like an invasion of privacy but it is legal and realistically there is nothing you can do about. Businesses are expanding and innovating and incorporating consumers personal data into how they conduct their day to day operations. Whether that is through targeted marketing or by innovating their products to better suit their customers. Either way I personally am not ok with how much personal data is available about me for sale.

  23. Spencer Kiranas

    I don’t feel like there is too much information out there about me specifically. I tend to keep things pretty low-key and decently public/ work appropriate anyways. But I do think it’s kind of weird that there are records of the buying patterns or maybe people analyzing what I may or may not buy based on my age or various demographics. But I’m not necessarily worried about there being too much information about me anyway. I think as a manager I would be most excited about the data that I can collect from my customers (as much as I dislike how they can do that to me) because it would be awesome for interpreting what I need to be pushing, marketing, e-mailing or producing more heavily at certain times based on each individual customer.

  24. Dylan Tomiyama

    1. Reflecting on this article, does there ever come a time when you feel there is too much data out in the public sphere about you? Why or Why not?
    Based on what information I know I have put out on the web I do not feel that there is too much data out on the public sphere about me. However, I may not know the full extent of the amount and type of information on the web about myself. As a consumer I’m not too worried about the data most businesses collect about myself as it seems to be quite harmless in most situations. Moreover, if that data is going to allow businesses to better connect to myself and my needs I am not opposed to it. However, I do find it annoying to delete 10-20 “promotional” emails a day from a various number of companies I have shopped at online. There are definitely both pros and cons to the collection of data and I believe that there needs to be a common ground between regulation and business in order to reduce the downside.

    2. What are some applications of this BIG DATA technology that you would find exciting as a manager of a business?
    Some applications of Big Data technology that I find exciting as a manager of a business is just being able to connect to consumer’s no matter their physical location. As well as I’d be able to better respond to consumers future needs in a more economical and efficient manner. The data collected could also help reduce marketing costs and therefore making products cheaper for consumers; however, in practice I don’t believe the use of this data has reduced costs for consumers.

  25. Alyssa Lacoste

    I do feel like there is too much data out there in the public space about me. It feels a bit creepy knowing that you have a file out there full of your likes and dislikes, you shopping habits, where you like to go, what places you frequently visit. I like that companies are showing me products that they know I will like, because that’s pretty interesting, but it does make you wonder what kind of information they have on you. In the article, they talk about “capturing” the pregnant women in the second trimester because once she starts shopping at target or places like it, it will become convenient to pick up everything you need from there. This is where it becomes bit of an ethics question for me. Is this too invasive, especially if the customer does not want you to know this sensitive data about their lives? I think BIG DATA will end up running into some ethical problems in the future, especially once the public becomes more aware of it. Some applications of BIG DATA technology that I would find exciting would be figuring out how people think. The article touched on this, but I think it would be truly fascinating to analyze all the information that BIG DATA captured on someone. How did it find out that a person had a diary allergy, or that they are expecting? I think it will be interesting to use this information, in an ethical way of course, and better tailor products to what certain people want.

  26. Eric Laxdal

    1. Reflecting on this article, does ther ever come a time when you feel there is too much data out in the public sphere about you? Why or Why not?
    Yes. I worry from time to time about the amount of data that has been captured and stored about me because of the way that it is used. i google a pair of shoes once and the next time i log into social media i am spammed with advertisements for that shoe. if they are tracking what i google then there is a good chance that they know more about what goes on inside my head than i do. i don’t like the thought that there is a profile on me that can target all my desires and influence the way i buy and act online. but then again I’m not overly worried about it being used against me as i have no money and don’t hold a position of power so there is no way that anyone really gives a crap about blackmailing me other than a king from Somalia who only needs me to share my banking info with him so he can donate 100000 buck to me out of the kindness of his heart.

  27. Zharen

    I think that there us too much data available for everyone, and sometimes most of us does not know if does information are facts or not. The information that is available to us are a lot that sometimes it is overwhelming. Having lots of information is good but too much of it is not good anymore. Some individuals (who does not fact check) might believe that information that they saw and this might cause some issues, this is actually one of the most concern that is happening in the internet. Someone will believe that the information they had read is true and that information might had impacted their views in a negative way and start creating issues that can harm someone. Also the security of an individual having their information out in public is concerning. The amount of information that one can gather about someone in the internet is overwhelming and that not safe.
    Although, I think having this big data technology as manager is good for business because we can gather data about our customer and we can tailor our product/service to them in a way that they would like it more. Having this big data is beneficial to the business but sometimes it is not since it concern individuals security.

  28. Grant Stewart

    Reflecting on this article, does there ever come a time when you feel there is too much data out in the public sphere about you? Why or why not?

    Yes, I totally believe that there is too much information about me out there. A corporation can essentially know everything about me and then sell it off to the highest bidder. Just by googling myself I find way more information that I am comfortable with, and that is just the front end, the back end with cookies and other identifying information companies know everything. It makes me uncomfortable, but it is something that now is pretty unavoidable, you can’t put that genie back in the bottle. It is just something that people in society today need to live with, even if it seems like too much and is uncomfortable. The people that I really worry about now are kids growing up in this environment, they don’t even really get a choice as to if they want their information out there, a lot of parents just put it out there freely.

    What are some applications of this BIG DATA technology that you would find exciting as a manager of a business?

    I would find the marketing applications of the tech very exciting. It can easily tell you who would be a good customer and who would be most willing to buy your products. It could even help you decide on marketing campaigns and what kinds of messages will resonate with most consumers.

  29. Clint Filbrandt

    Reflecting on this article, does there ever come a time when you feel there is too much data out in the public sphere about you? Why or Why not? I believe that there are pros and cons when discussing the information collected about us. We are very forgetful when we put things onto the web and that it stays there forever. Websites grip to the information we provide them and use it to target us in the ads they promote to us. From a single search they get the information needed to know my preferences. I always wonder why these websites don’t have to tell you that they are using your search history or websites in order to advertise for you. They could be using this information to manipulate me in ways I didn’t even know was possible and that can be nerve-racking. What are some applications of this BIG DATA technology that you would find exciting as a manager of a business? I believe the most exciting characteristic would just be the limitless amounts of data that you can collect. I could use it to analyse my customers and also my staff. I could use it to see how much time is being wasted or how much work is getting done, or even what clothes my employees wear the most. It would make it a lot easier to be successful.

  30. Heather Donahue

    This article does make me think about my facebook, instagram, etc. profiles and how much information can be harvested from them. I’ve noticed that as soon as I like a picture of a new product from a specific company, that suddenly their ads are all I ever see on my newsfeed. It’s definitely scary to think how much information these corporations have on us, but it really is partially our fault. As soon as we have a social media account that is the slightest amount public, we are opening ourselves up to these places. But, at the same time, the information they get from us based on our shopping habits and not on our social media presence makes me a little uneasy about the idea of data analytics in business. And, quite frankly, it is annoying when businesses bombard you with emails, ads, and flyers all because you bought a bag of chips from there. It’s crazy how the smallest exposure to a company can come at such a cost.

    As much as i don’t like being on the customer end of it, i feel that as a manager i’d be most excited about the various data that can be harvested from the customers. This data would aid in creating market segments and in targeting specific people and groups, overall improving customer satisfaction and, therefore, company profit and reputation.

  31. Dale Smith

    1. Reflecting on this article, does there ever come a time when you feel there is too much data out in the public sphere about you? Why or Why not?

    Yes, the time comes when there is too much deeply seeded personal information avaliable directly linked to your name or SIN number. currently the information about customers is located at each company and sold in packages to create vast demographics. If this changes and companies pool together to create costumer data tied to everything we do it has potential to become overwhelming. Then the issue becomes what are the willing to do with this data? where are these companies drawing the line, are they above blackmailing political affiliates into promoting beneficial practices for the corporations. With all of this considered there is definitely a line that can be crosses but it is hard to determine where this is.

    2. What are some applications of this BIG DATA technology that you would find exciting as a manager of a business?

    The main aspect of this Big Data application that I would find interesting would be being able to correctly tailor marketing information to the correct costumer base and having deeper insight into product life cycles based on what interests customers have. With this companies will be able to cut costs of ineffective advertising policies and utilizing consumer information to plot trends to accurately decide when to release certain product lines back onto the market or when to withdraw product lines due to consumer trends.

  32. Kirana Stocker

    Reading this article has certainly forced me to think about how much information about me is available on the internet. While I think I’m being careful by using privacy settings on social media in conjunction with trying to be selective about what I post online, there really isn’t any way to control how much data about us is out on the internet. Even with being cautious about what we put online and who can see things, our friends who tag us in things aren’t always as careful. Even stepping outside of social media, what we browse on the internet is constantly being monitored by numerous different organization who track our every movement online. I have found that after looking at a clothing company website on my laptop, within seconds that data of my search is being used as adds on my social media feed on my cell phone are for that same company. Companies having access to all of this data turns us as individuals into numbers on a screen that they try to analyze and learn without even ever really knowing our names. While some may think people are afraid of having information about them out in the public sphere because they are hiding something, the truth in the matter is that with technology these days, we don’t have much left to hide, whether we’re comfortable with that or not.

    As a manager of a business, I think I would be most excited about developments in company’s business models. As a manager, our number one goal is to increase profit to make shareholders happy. By having information that would allow managers to focus on specific markets and segments of that market, it would allow them to better understand their customers and help them to make decisions that would not only improve customer relations but would also increase their own success.

  33. Jessica Abel

    1. Reflecting on this article, does ther ever come a time when you feel there is too much data out in the public sphere about you? Why or Why not?
    Overall, I think there is way too much data on individuals, I have tended to stray away from sharing too much online as i’ve see the issues that arise from it. I think people need to be very aware of what they choose to post online about themselves. It is highly likely that a future employer or educational institution will be able to see what you post. But, this can also be extremely valuable information in the hiring process or deciding on which individual to accept into a graduate program. A quick google search could easily show them if that individual seems like an upstanding citizen that would fit nicely in their organization or if they are someone who spends most of their time partying or has any other seemingly negative behaviours. Also, there seems to be too much data kept on individuals in relation to online shopping behaviour that does become somewhat invasive in terms of advertising. The amount that these systems record about individuals spending habits and shopping habits can be concerning. This can become too person and is almost off putting in purchasing from companies that you have from before but now seem to pop up in all the ads on your computer. There needs to be some restraint from these companies when trying to learn about the consumers where they do not come off as annoying and distasteful.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s