Most of what we know in the fields of sociology, psychology, political science and medicine is derived from tiny experiments in controlled environments. But the data revolution enables us to observe behaviour as it happens at mass scale in the real world.
That feedback could provide invaluable evidence about which theories are most valid and which policies and products work best. The promise is that we make soft social science harder and more predictive.
That, in turn, could lead to better organisations, fairer government, and more effective monitoring of our progress towards achieving collective ambitions, such as the UN’s sustainable development goals.
50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach.
Whistleblower Christopher Wylie reveals how
personal information was “taken without authorisation in early 2014 to build a system that could profile individual US voters, in order to target them with personalised political advertisements”. 😮 HIGHLY recommend watching Wylie’s interview video here
WhatsApp will not share user data with Facebook until it complies with GDPR.
TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden reports on
the outcome of the ICO’s “long-running investigation over how Facebook and WhatsApp share user data”. 🔍 The findings show that WhatsApp did not “share user data for anything other than basic data processing” and so will not be fined, as announced by Elizabeth Denham in a blog post
. Lunden summarises:
The two most significant upshots of this: WhatsApp (and Facebook) will not be fined; and the ICO has gotten WhatsApp to sign an undertaking in which it has committed publicly not to share personal data with Facebook in the future until the two services can do it in a way that is compliant with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Gathering healthcare insights about people’s daily lives.
Jeff Margolis, Chairman and CEO of Welltok
, argues why healthcare needs to shift
from “providing sick care”, to also “partnering with people to help them stay well”. 📊 Welltok has “created a proprietary database”, which includes the demographic, lifestyle and health device data to represent 275 million Americans. 👀 By combining and analysing this data, the company is able to understand the effects of different behaviours on health, and:
Identify the interventions and messages that will have the greatest impact in shaping consumers’ behaviour to improve health.
How to turn “data exhaust” into a competitive edge.
Scott Snyder, a Wharton senior Fellow, and Alex Castrounis, vice president of product and advanced analytics for Rocket Wagon, explain the lost opportunity
from discarding data. 🤔 They argue that companies should explore ways to utilise this currently unused information to help them get ahead:
Data almost always contains significant value and information if one knows where and how to look for it. Data not only represents value in the information that it contains, but in its value as currency for companies to leverage with potential partners. Data can be sold, traded and so on. The methods by which value can be unlocked from data, and ultimately provide competitive advantage, is through various forms of analytics and monetisation.
– This is in-line with Gartner’s prediction
that “80% of successful Chief Data Officers will have value creation or revenue generation as their number one priority by 2021”. 💸