The Good, The Bad, And The Data

Firing up my phone a few moments ago to read something whilst my biological functions went through their morning boot-up procedures I found myself reading an NYT article on the facet of the TrumpCare debate centering on coverage for existing conditions, which was interesting enough in its own right, but I appreciated on so many levels the ad-placement that occurred within the piece, a not-so-chance occurrence whose irony in the context I found myself savoring.


I was imagining the various bullets that this Dean Kozlowski character might have included in his year-end performance self-appraisal write-up, all of which his bosses would have thought were great, but for which the general public would have a mix of reactions:

  1. fused public and private data sets to discover under-served markets
  2. established customer attrition patterns and enacted plans that improved retention
  3. deployed voice-stress analysis software in call center to triage active cases in real time
  4. determined precise pricing pain points for specific communities and raised premiums just below the threshold where they would drop their policy
  5. proactively detected and dropped high-risk policy holders
  6. established data driven protocols for refusing policies to high-risk applicants

As someone whose hat collection includes the “Data Engineer” one, I find myself by turns proud of and creeped out by the power of data, and wonder what lies ahead as we learn how to wield this power in a responsible and sustainable fashion.  The conversation has only just begun.


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