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Tuesday, December 01, 2015

On the Ethics of an Analytical Hammer

Related thoughts were brought up when we used analytics in HR.   But I do not recall an instance where in an after action review it was decided that there were any ethical issues.  So a caution rather than a strong risk.   As with any system implementation.

In MIT Sloan Review:   by Sam Ransbotham

Data Analytics Hammer
Organizations no longer ask themselves “Could we do X with data?” The answer is now often yes. Instead, a key question now is, “Should we do X with data?”

With analytics as a hammer, so many questions can start to look like nails. It is difficult for organizations to know what to do. But the “should” in “What should we do?” goes beyond just selecting what to hammer on for maximum insight — the possibilities that analytical abilities create involve responsibilities as well.

Questions involving “could” are about ability. Can we estimate which customers are unlikely to renew their contracts? Can we determine people who are about to make large financial decisions such as real estate purchase or retirement? Can we figure out which machine part is mostly likely to break so that we can order a replacement ahead of time?  .... " 

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