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Data Darwinism Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2013 12:00 AM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Data Darwinism






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Post #1438177
Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2013 6:13 AM


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This is seriously fascinating stuff. You have to know that as more and more data about all of us becomes publicly available that it will impact employment. I suspect, based on looking back at my technology career, we have no idea where it's going to go, but it will be a fun ride (as long as you're flexible with your definitions of "fun").

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Post #1438288
Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2013 7:43 AM
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Depending on how the data is gathered, there could be legal problems. For exemple, it is possible that a general uncontrolled survey approach could reflect racial or ethnic biases of the population, and as such would be quite illegal as a judgement for hiring/firing.



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Post #1438334
Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2013 8:23 AM
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Nice idea and it sounds very efficient and fair, but it sounds like a rational society is a prerequisite. A democratic society may choose to ignore it (through legislation or regulations) no matter what the data says. I'm thinking of data driven 'profiling tactics' post -9/11 at the airport and the resulting shakedowns of senior citizens and small children in the name of fairness. I think we might be 2 or 3 thousand years from such a society.
Post #1438375
Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2013 8:42 AM


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A few years ago my son asked me to buy him The Unincorporated Man. After he finished it, he gave it to me and we read all four books in the series, which we both enjoyed. The premise of this future civilization is that each person is their own corporation, selling stock in themselves to anyone in the world. As with a company, the better your performance at life, the higher the price. However there is also accountability, with your actions, jobs, etc., potentially limited by your "board of directors", who are the shareholders in your corporation. It sounds a little drastic, but it's not as bad as you might think. It's actually a neat idea.


This part is no longer fiction, at least in the case of one man:

Meet the Man Who Sold His Fate to Investors at $1 a Share


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Post #1438392
Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2013 8:59 AM
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I've been the victom of a bad reference without my knowledge. Luckily, it was localized to one company, I was applying for. The person who gave me the bad reference was a former co-worker who was let go for performance reasons and decided to retaliate. This was fifteen years ago. Thank God, I have not had to deal with any bad ones since then. There does need to be a method of appeals or damage control, such as the way you can have erronious information corrected on a credit report.

What if you are a supervisor that had to make a bunch of layoffs to save the people you were able to keep?

There are just so many places where this could be very harmful.
Post #1438413
Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2013 9:31 AM
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Looking at data and how people have used it in the past few years, I believe that there has never been an BI , Decision Support or other computer system that cannot have its data abused or manipulated by a willing person. Remember the old statement statistics lie? Well people who want to bend the truth to their own advantage will do so.

Now before you chime in and say this or that about some manager or supervisor, bending the "facts" to make your case with flawed logic, or being deceptive and creating a half-truth is not restricted to those who supervise, it is an equal-opportunity type of thing.



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Post #1438441
Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2013 11:11 AM


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In line with bad data ....








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Post #1438498
Posted Wednesday, April 3, 2013 2:14 PM
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Thank you Steve, it’s good once in a while to step back from technology and take an unanalyzed breath.

I agree that reliance on data that has been ridden hard by a cadre of chart jockeys and put up wet does not make for fortuitous business decisions. And certainly such ‘flat’ thinking can and will continue to lead to tragic errors in judgment.

Unfortunately, such tom-foolery is replete in corporate America today and portends bad things for the future. It is my contention that reliance on such system generated data other than for accounting, is actually becoming quite counterproductive.

Whether this plethora of data are used as quality measures, corrective action, or just as a means of ‘taking the pulse’ in a large and complex manufacturing arena, errors get made. The availability of such huge data resources allows those who, in any other arena would be judged as bereft of actual business skills, to assume command.

Trying to float a new business concept among this ilk will at best yield blank stares, or at worst you get black listed.

I liken the need for the daily perusal of extracted and pre-digested data by today’s mid and upper level management as proof of the utter lack of any ‘indigenous business sense’. This sort of management is tantamount to running full tilt through the jungle while looking back over your shoulder. It’s not a matter of if you will end up on your face - but when. Meanwhile, the daily data consumption regimes are becoming addictive.

And as with any substance deemed addictive, there are side effects. Often these side effects take the form of bad business decisions, the justification for deliberate prejudice and too often the inappropriate committal of investment dollars directed at getting more of the same, only faster…..just like a drug addict, it then becomes data for data’s sake, supporting the inept, lying about the past, and intending a particular course for the future action that in fact is completely contradictive.

My personal experience with such ‘data dependent’ organizations is monolithic. By the time the very statistics previously deemed ‘predictive’ slowly begins to indicate a downward spiral, and comes only long after it’s too late to recover they seem astounded. When I look at them and say; “see, I told you this data is weeks and weeks old, it’s not a roadmap to the future it’s just a fuzzy sketch of sort of where you’ve been”.
It’s like talking to dirt –

J G Hicks, 3rd of April, 2013
Post #1438571
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