Data Mining vs Conversation

Data mining – such a cold hard feel to it. But in essence, all it really is, is information gathering, and just perhaps we ought to be grateful that the information is gathere/harvested without ever troubling us nor even flickering our consciousness.

And yet, as humans, is that sterile one way traffic a satisfactory transaction?

In the good old days, and here I am talking about the archetypal Arkwright’s corner store ( ok so only a few will know what I am referring to here…)

Once upon a time you entered a corner shop, the bell over the door alerting the shopkeeper of your arrival, you would approach the counter and …….start up a conversation. A conversation which is a two way dialogue, the purpose of which is two fold – information gathering on the shopkeepers part and information gaining on the potential purchasers part. “Two way” being the key point. You could add dynamic, human contact, local knowledge ( aka gossip?) – but the point is that the conversation is a fundamental human social interaction.


OK so not everyone wants to engage in a conversation when buying a bag of sugar, but on accasions the human touch of a dialogue can genuinely enhance the experience.

So data clusters around transactions? ( Transactional data ) Some data pre empts the transactional data – think geolocational triggering mobile events.


Who benefits from all this data aggregation?

Do we the punters get served more targetted spam adverts? Personally not convinced – just take a glance at my Groupon / Living Social offers – I won’t elaborate but needless to say not targetted to my needs in any aspect and as such extremely negative influence – if you can’t get that first step right how can I trust you in future?

ooops off track again….back to the who benefits question. The only winner in the data gathering game is the broker of said data.

The transaction in question being the one where data is sold for cold hard cash. Every marketer will acknowledge the value of data – just look at my semi rant above? Targeting is vital in any credible brand campaign.

Now I am off to have a look at how mobile phones relay data…..all the apps we so freely install and leave dormant on our handsets ad infinitum.





About Callieo

Lives with a pack of salukis in the middle of fields in Galway, shares said fields with some warmblood horses.
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One Response to Data Mining vs Conversation

  1. michael lopez says:

    the fact that data collected and analyzed only benefits the broker is absurd. For instance, you mentioned google street view and while creepy and beneficial to google, it is extremely useful to anyone and everyone who has ever wanted to see exactly what their end destination looks like and where it lies.not to mention the amount of data one can draw from google maps. i think the goal of data mining is to offer a service that benefits the user but is inherently profitable. yelp aggregates restaurant reviews and get’s a lot of attention thus making their advertising space valuable and their insight for small business purchasable. everybody wins, not just the broker. in any instance of mass data farming where someone is using the information collected for some kind of nefarious deed, there are a bunch of users out there winning. it’s up to you, like always, to either be reshaped by these data harvesting conglomerates, or utilize their information to your advantage.

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