6 ways 
big data 
can be 
wrong 
How to identify and address distorted data Wrong 
OnCorps 2014. All Rights Reserved 1
“economy is stable” 
February 2007 Business Roundtable Survey 
With access 
to hundreds 
of millions in 
business 
intelli...
If the click means nothing 
to the user, why should it 
mean something to you? 
1. 
Click 
Distortion 
OnCorps 2014. All R...
What you rate and what 
you do are different 
2. 
Schindler’s 
List 
Syndrome 
Rated highly… …but highly watched 
Source: ...
Top leader surveys 
reinforce biases without 
pulsing activities 
3. 
Agent Bias 
Use data to 
support the war 
Monitor da...
Everyone reaches the 
same conclusion, 
negating the conclusion 
4. 
Crowd 
Contradiction 
Syndrome 
Fear of Olympic traff...
Favor information that 
confirms your beliefs 
5. 
Confirmation 
Bias 
In 2006, Mr. Greenspan said 
there's "no evidence" ...
Try to find a rare event 
in a big data set and 
you will be wrong more 
6. 
False 
Positives 
Official Red Teams slip gun...
How to be less wrong (or more right) 
Profile 
De-Average 
Reciprocate 
Pulse 
• Develop hypotheses 
• Track analytic prof...
10 
© OnCorps 2014. All Rights Reserved 
© 
www.oncorps.org 
www.oncorps.io 
Cambridge, Massachusetts | Bristol, United Ki...
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6 ways big data can be wrong

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Is business intelligence an oxymoron? This presentation shows how even the best are wrong even when given access to all the data they need.

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6 ways big data can be wrong

  1. 1. 6 ways big data can be wrong How to identify and address distorted data Wrong OnCorps 2014. All Rights Reserved 1
  2. 2. “economy is stable” February 2007 Business Roundtable Survey With access to hundreds of millions in business intelligence, in 2007… …CEOs were dead wrong. Private and confidential. All rights reserved. 2
  3. 3. If the click means nothing to the user, why should it mean something to you? 1. Click Distortion OnCorps 2014. All Rights Reserved 3
  4. 4. What you rate and what you do are different 2. Schindler’s List Syndrome Rated highly… …but highly watched Source: Wired Magazine, The Science Behind The Netflix Algorithms That Decide What You’ll Watch OnCorps 2014. All Rights Reserved 4
  5. 5. Top leader surveys reinforce biases without pulsing activities 3. Agent Bias Use data to support the war Monitor data to execute the plan Stay alive OnCorps 2014. All Rights Reserved 5
  6. 6. Everyone reaches the same conclusion, negating the conclusion 4. Crowd Contradiction Syndrome Fear of Olympic traffic gridlock means no gridlock Private and confidential. All rights reserved. 6
  7. 7. Favor information that confirms your beliefs 5. Confirmation Bias In 2006, Mr. Greenspan said there's "no evidence" home prices would collapse and "the worst may well be over." “Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent. ” George W. Bush January 28, 2003 Private and confidential. All rights reserved. 7 Source: Peter Wason, Joshua Klayman, David Perkins
  8. 8. Try to find a rare event in a big data set and you will be wrong more 6. False Positives Official Red Teams slip gun and bomb dummies in TSA screens. 90% are undetected. Private and confidential. All rights reserved. 8
  9. 9. How to be less wrong (or more right) Profile De-Average Reciprocate Pulse • Develop hypotheses • Track analytic profiles • Isolate higher probability groups • Seek smaller, targeted groups • Identify adoption leaders • Measure variances • Provide performance data to users • Make users want to come back • Respect user anonymity • Create a schedule of analytic sprints • Monitor changes in what people do • Update hypotheses and build a database Private and confidential. All rights reserved. 9
  10. 10. 10 © OnCorps 2014. All Rights Reserved © www.oncorps.org www.oncorps.io Cambridge, Massachusetts | Bristol, United Kingdom

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