This week in data – November 16th

As the dust settles on Donald Trump’s historic (and somewhat shocking) election to the US presidency, many have been left wondering how the pre-election data could have been so wrong. Every poll from the New York Times to FiveThirtyEight had Clinton pegged to win the election, some even went as far as saying she had a 99% chance of winning.

So where did it all go wrong? Who’s to blame – the ‘elitist’ media? the pollsters? or the validity of expressed data when faced with a controversial candidate like Trump?

As the post-election autopsy continues to focus on the role of data and polls in influencing election coverage and turnout, we’re still left astounded as to the difference 2 percentage points can make to change the world.

Back home in OZ…

Big W has been caught up in a serious data leakage incident which saw online carts pre-loaded with personal customer information – including names, phone numbers and addresses – from other Big W customers. Big W was quick to act – taking down the website and assuring customers that no credit card details or passwords or compromised. The incident has been reported the Privacy Commissioner.

Would you be willing to share your Fitbit data if it meant you got lower health insurance premiums?

A new report by the Actuaries Institute has highlighted the opportunities for big data to lower insurance premiums – but the AFR has warned the data price cuts could come with hidden costs for those whose data could make them uninsurable. Both the ACCC and the Productivity Commission agree that consumers should have the agency to use their data to find the best possible deal for them.

Speaking of the ethics of big data, this abstract from a soon to be released book entitled ‘Data Ethics — The New Competitive Advantage’ caught our eye this week. It explores the intersection of law, technology, society and the changing role of data ethics in business – our kind of read!

Until next time.

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