When the Data is Bad

Dateline: March 7, 2014

Welcome to our Friday WRAP – one thought-provoking idea to think about over the weekend.

We know there is a lot of interest around data, and virtually everyone is building (or has built) and analytics and business intelligence plan.  But the insights are only as good as the data used to find them.  What do you do when the data is bad, or worse, fraudulent?

That’s the subject of a recent blog at Baseline, by contributing editor, Samuel Greengard titled A Five Star Failure.  Greengard shared some thoughts about online ratings.

Online ratings—which are based on the idea that peers are a pretty good judge of the quality of a pizza, hotel or flat-screen TV—have devolved into a steaming cauldron of deceit. Gartner predicts that 10 to 15 percent of all online reviews will be fraudulent by 2014.

Nevertheless, online reviews are here to stay. In some fields, including IT, executives often base buying decisions on comments from their peers or online reviews. Only a few sites, usually in the professional sphere, have gone so far as to introduce user validation, community policing and other methods to combat fraud and increase the odds of generating authentic reviews from qualified people.

There’s no question that experiences and perceptions vary—sometimes greatly. And, though a growing number of sites, including Google and TripAdvisor, have introduced algorithms to detect fraud and alert consumers, it’s obviously not enough to thwart fake reviews.

How do you manage data collected online?  What methods do you use to combat fraud?

That’s a WRAP!  Have a nice weekend.

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