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Companies urged to avoid data biases

Organizations making use of Big Data need to be aware of their own biases to achieve the best insights, according to a presentation by author and journalist Nate Silver at the FMI Midwinter Executive Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Nate Silver
Nate Silver

Silver, who is editor-in-chief of ESPN's and author of “The Signal and the Noise,” said understanding biases can be a competitive advantage.

"A competitor can exploit you through data, and that can be enough to sink your ship," he said. "This means you need to be very aware of what your biases might be when you look at the data. Data can be objective, but none of us are. We all come from different sets of experiences."

Silver said the food business "is a field where there's a lot of opportunity because you often have fairly good structured data. You often have millions of records that are fairly high quality."

However, he cautioned that organizations should "make sure you have the culture in your companies to reward good use of analytics."

Read more: Big Data drives Safeway shopper connections

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