Wharton Customer Analytics

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The Perils of Data Analytics

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Data analytics helps marketer learn about their customers with target precision, from the movies they watch on Netflix to their favorite scoops of chocolate ice cream. Data is ubiquitous, essential, and beneficial except when it’s not. Experts warn that data analytics is at an inflection point. Growing concerns about security risks, privacy, bias, and regulation are bumping up against all the benefits offered by machine learning and artificial intelligence. Layer those concerns on top of worries about the coronavirus pandemic and how it has rapidly changed consumer behavior, and the challenges become clear. “What we’re seeing is a lot of chaos in terms of what is the right answer. And what we’re seeing is a change in strategy,” said Neil Hoyne, chief measurement strategist at Google and a senior fellow at Wharton Customer Analytics.