Murphy Choy

A dangerous aspect of analytic: dark side of the force

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2011 at 5:10 pm

I was having some discussion with fellow colleagues about the applications of analytic in public sector. We did appreciate some of the great improvements that have occurred as a result of the various analytic initiatives. However, there were some very interesting observations about how analytic can be abused when money is concerned.

We were having a discussion about public amenities and some one in the crowd mentioned that some public services have stopped offering services to people who cannot pay. Now it is useful to understand that public services are not designed to be profitable business and thus non-paying customers are serious problem for them. To prevent this, they have adopted some kind of analytics to prevent this from occurring through rejection of people who are deemed to be unable to pay.


Public services existed to serve the greater public and ensure that the public has access to these amenities. It is almost unthinkable that they actually abuse analytic to deny public access to amenities. Analytic as with all sciences was developed in hope of helping business make better decisions and achieve higher performance but never at the expense of public interest.The other issue is that analytic works on the basis of probability. What if you classified someone wrongly and thus denied that individual of rightful access to amenities?

I sincerely hope that public sectors will look to it as their duties to serve the public and not abuse analytics to deny people of their amenities.


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