Who's to blame for 'Daughter Killed in Car Crash' mailing sent to parents? Big Data


It is tragic. An over sight blunder.

“The question is why did they need to input it and why did they keep it?” he said.

Things Remembered declined to comment.

‘Fred’ from the mail room probably got sacked.

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I agree with the sentiment and the idea that data needs a human context.

But alternatively, you could say it is caused by not-big-enough data.

The computers need more data on the private lives of humans before they can mimic human decency to a reasonable level of accuracy.

Or, someone entered information in the wrong field. If I had a dollar for every email I’ve seen entered in a poorly-constrained phone field or a comment in an address field or the like in CRM systems, I’d be able to take a really nice, really long vacation. It’s not a big data issue, it’s a train-your-team-to-enter-comments-in-the-right-field-or-define-your-table-better issue.

As someone who worked in a printing plant for a few years, I can say I’ve seen this type of thing often and even weirder. However, attempts to correct things like this when caught (which is rare due to the speed at which it is done) are met with “The customer already paid off on the job.” like responses from management. And so nothing is ever done during the printing of such errors unless the operator(s) notices (and once again this is often rare because there is a lot to watch over as these machines are being run - often way too fast) and throws the offending ‘error’ away. Which does happen if the operator cares to make a difference. But sadly, this doesn’t happen often enough.

Most likely from a customer-service representative who collects information during a sale for the store’s use

What customer-service representative, anywhere, is collecting “daughter killed in car crash” as information during a sale for the store to use? Unless it was the CSR from the funeral home, and funeral homes selling customer data (including cause of death of loved one) is super creepy to think about.

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