User:Graeme E. Smith/Collections/Model Series/Datamining/What is Datamining
What is Datamining?Edit
When CSI scientists use a criminals Buyer Rewards Card to determine if he is a murderer they have done two things, more than prove their theory that he murdered his wife, they have shown us just how limited our real privacy is, and they have datamined a marketing tool, and retrieved from it information that the original marketing people never planned to give away.
Datamining might seem to be a difficult term to understand, after all it has 4 syllables and most of the time people don't use more than about 3 syllables in the words they speak. It is a technical term, created by the Computer Industry to describe a set of methods of squeezing more information out of the same old marketing data. It was created because people noticed that the more information that you have, the more you can do with it. Isn't this why Governments spy on each other, and big industrial giants don't tell their customers their prices over the phone?
There is a whole industry, out there who's job it is, to trick you out of information that might be useful for some big corporation somewhere and then who sell that information back and forth spreading the wealth, and reducing your privacy, and the worst offenders are the Buyers Rewards, and Airmiles rewards cards, you get, so you can save a bit of money at the supermarket and maybe some day, fly away to Hawaii or some place like that for free. The problem with these cards, isn't that they gather marketing data, the problem is that they make it so personal, by keying the card to the individual.
Just as the CSI investigator learns exactly which brand of rope the murderer used, and can prove by the Forensic Evidence that he bought exactly that type of rope and that the rope used in strangling the victim was one that left a mark behind that only that type of rope could possibly leave, Unscrupulous Dataminers can learn a lot about a particular customer from his buyers reward or Airmiles card if they get a-hold of the database. Governments are aware of this and have laws about how easily this information can be traded within the country, but once it gets out, someone in China can know exactly how many burritos you eat in a month.
Datamining was created so that companies like your Airline could track down what products their most likely customers would be likely to use, so that they knew where to advertise and which products to support with contests and such like. It is worth millions of dollars in advertising to be able to aim the advertising at the right market segment, and not spend millions more on people who wouldn't buy an airline ticket if the sky fell. Because they wanted to capture the market, they created air-miles cards so that they could monitor the buying practices of their customers. Frankly they don't care who you really are, and if the information stayed at home, it wouldn't be a privacy risk, but people steal information all the time, because there is a market for it, and because of this, you don't know that their security system was up to keeping the information at home. They are a lot stricter about it than they used to be, but still, there is a risk, that I personally don't like taking.
In Minority Report, Tom Cruises character gets an eye transplant, and finds suddenly that he is getting advertising aimed at a Japanese person who may either have a daughter with strange tastes or be a pedophile. The In your face advertising he experiences is so dislocated from his life, that it jars his senses. Yet the hidden message is that he was being seduced by advertising so attuned to his personal interests that he wasn't even aware of it, until the eye transplant. This is a perceived danger, and indication where Datamining is going in the future. As it becomes more and more likely that we will be able to squeeze more and more information from less and less data, through datamining techniques, advertising may become more and more personal until it seduces us without our being aware of it.
This book is about a method of using similar techniques to promote the quality of your intuition, and to speed up the process so that you can be a more productive person as a result, and since constant intuition is supposedly the province of women and geniuses, it might even make you a more productive genius.