As the digital revolution continues, the amount of data captured on the internet increases. Giant organisations worldwide have started to collect your data whenever and wherever possible for future use.
When you shop online, most companies are now able to recommend alternatives, or items you might like. How companies are able to recommend alternative products to you is through the information they collect simply by you browsing on their product pages, or buying from the site.
This particular action is called “Data Mining”. Data mining is a massive collection of user’s data that is collated to analyse patterns and trends. Giant companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon use this information to generate more sales by selling this data to companies who then want to advertise back to you.
There are many advantages to Data mining, such as:
- Predicting Trends: Data mining makes it easier for businesses to get a clear analysis of certain buying trends.
- Help Decision making: With organisations now becoming data-driven, data mining helps businesses objectively analyses the data to make decisions.
- Forecast Sales: From the analysis of the data mined, in other words collected, businesses will be able to get insights into what people are buying and therefore predict future spend and get repeat business from you and others.
- Better customer loyalty: Businesses can lower customer churn using data mining and in particular on social media data.
- Get fresh insights: Data Mining can help businesses identify patterns that reinforce business practices and strategies. It can also open up new revenue opportunities or find weaknesses in the business.
However despite the advantages data mining has for many businesses, the biggest concern with data mining is the issue of Privacy.
One of the biggest problems with data mining is Privacy. Though businesses are rightfully collecting information about you in order to understand the trends, it’s important to think about how your privacy could be jeopardized. For example, when businesses go bankrupt or are acquired by another company, this means personal information is often sold or leaked.
Then, there’s the other concern of misuse of information. The data that is collected through data mining for ethical reasons could be misused and exploited by people or businesses for other gains.
One thing is for sure, Data mining is a process that will continue for businesses. But to ensure that your personal information is never misused or exploited, it’s advised to limit the amount of data you give about yourself online.