“Big data creates mixed feelings for many people. The economic opportunities are obvious. But the possibilities of abuse are also evident ( Computer week ) “. Big data is certainly more than just hype and brings numerous new opportunities with it. However, there are also many risks, which are discussed in this article.
Reading tip: What is big data

Big Data Risks: Monitoring

An example can be found in the Computer week when looking for a perpetrator on the autobahn: “The investigators had installed cameras on seven relevant sections of the autobahn. These read in the license plates of all passing automobiles, including those of the vehicles being shot at. In April 2013, the police received reports of gunfire on trucks again within five days, a total of six. “
Of course, this massive storage of data allows a high level of surveillance. The verdict of Computerwoche: “The evaluation of massive amounts of data has an ambivalent character.
An example can also be the storage of numerous data by wearables by health insurance companies. The health of the individual becomes transparent and it can be understood how often you do sport and move. So it creates a permanent feeling of surveillance.

Big data risks: Sensitive data requires special protection

“Dealing with large amounts of data, especially data about internal company relationships, poses technical challenges for companies and IT departments. The balance between accessibility and security must be precisely balanced. “this can be found in the BigDatablog . Sensitive data must therefore also be specially secured. Not only from abuse but also from manipulation.

Big data risks: manipulation

Another risk of big data is its manipulative use. For example, big data can be misused and voters can be influenced, as is the case with elections. It is therefore about the sensible and ethical use of the large amount of data.
So the magazine warns Propaganda show : “Critical contemporaries have always warned, but only now is it slowly becoming apparent – all the more powerfully – how data collections can and are already being used to target people who previously” thoughtlessly “made their thoughts available to third parties, specifically and unnoticed to manipulate.”
So the magazine continues to believe that “the data is today Not primarily used to analyze political moods and then to make laws and politics in the interests of the citizens’ known opinions and interests, but rather to manipulate the raised moods and opinions with targeted measures in the interests of the elites. “

Big data risks: uselessness

A final risk is that large amounts of data are stored and certainly also evaluated, but you also like to sit in front of it and think: Mhmmm? And what do we do with it now? What does that tell us? When I was still on the road as an external consultant, I experienced this very often. We have evaluated and thought about a lot of things, but hardly came up with a meaningful idea of what that could mean.
So he warns too Havard Business Manager : Ready and open to experiment: “Managers and analysts must be able to apply scientific methods in their business area. You need to know what reasonable working hypotheses look like. You also need to understand the basics of experiments and how they are set up “

Conclusion: Big data but with care!

In addition to the risks mentioned, it is important to use big data sensibly. For this, guidelines are certainly necessary on the one hand to change abuse and manipulation and, on the other hand, further training to prevent uselessness. Because there must also be a data culture in the company.
That’s what he says Havard Business Manager At the end of the day, great efforts are needed in further training so that Big Data leads to more added value. It is about promoting a data-oriented mindset and analytical culture in the company and introducing new technologies.
Tip: Book suggestions too Big data
Of course, not everything is just a risk and big data can offer numerous opportunities such as well-founded prognoses for decisions and new products as well as an individual approach to customers. So read my follow-up article on this next week.
Reading tip: Chances of Big data

Big Data Chancen Risiken
Opportunities and risks of big data (own illustration)

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Author

I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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