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Big Data: Gartner: Half of Ethics Violations Will be From Improper use of Analytics by 2018

By Dick Weisinger

Algorithmic-based decision making is increasingly being deployed, but at least at this point in time, the decision to roll out and rely primarily on data analytic results may not be the right one.  A second point is that improper interpretation of statistics and analytics can lead to problems.

Colin Bennett, professor at the University of Victoria, said that “Big Data doesn’t replace human judgment.  We need that judgment to determine how we should act on any trends or associations that we find in the data.”

Gartner estimates that by 2018 nearly half of all ethics violations will be a result of improperly using and interpretting the results from big data and associated data analytics.

Gartner advises that technologies like big data and data analytics be used in conjunction with standard human judgement.

They recommend that the following five best practices for data analytics:

  • Linking Analytics to Business Outcomes Through Benefits Mapping
    Analytic tests should be constructed based on the business question under consideration.
    Analytics that aren’t devised up-front to address a specific question or problem will produce results that aren’t relevant or distracting to the business goals.
  • Investing in Advanced Analytics With Caution
    Advanced analytics is appropriate for solving very complex problems.
    But just because the business may be generating more data than before, simple analytics can still be as usefully applied to large data sets as it was earlier applied to smaller ones.
  • Balancing Analytic Insight With the Ability of the Organization to Make Use of the Analysis
    Gartner recommends limiting the investment in analytics to the ability and skills available in the organization for constructing and interpretting analytic testing.
  • Prioritizing Incremental Improvements Over Business Transformation
    Most organizations can best take advantage of and successfully use data analytics by incrementally adding analytics capabilities and complexity.
  • Considering Alternative Approaches to Reaching the Same Goal
    Don’t rely on a single method for making decisions.  Statistical modelling, data mining, machine learning algorithms, as well as human judgement all have their place in the decision making process.

Alexander Linden, research director at Gartner, said that “although big data and advanced analytics projects risk many of the same pitfalls as traditional projects, in most cases, these risks are accentuated due to the volume and variety of data, or the sophistication of advanced analytics capabilities.  Most pitfalls will not result in an obvious technical or analytic failure. Rather they will result in a failure to deliver business value.”

 

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2 Pings/Trackbacks for "Big Data: Gartner: Half of Ethics Violations Will be From Improper use of Analytics by 2018"
  1. […] Weisinger recently wrote in the Formtek blog, “Algorithmic-based decision making is increasingly being deployed, but at least at this point in […]

  2. […] Dick Weisinger reports on a Gartner Group estimate that 2018, half of all ethics violations will arise from improper use of Big Data. […]

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