Gartner research VP Frank Buytendijk has called on organisations to be prepared to put the brakes on complex, high-level data analytics and get the basics right before the practice gets out of control and they cross the \u2018creepy line.\u2019\nNetherlands-based Buytendijk \u2013 who was speaking on Monday morning at Gartner\u2019s Business Intelligence Summit in Sydney \u2013 warned that taking steps to correctly implement predictive and descriptive analytics is not easy and organisations should take care when using tools.\n\u201cIt\u2019s easy to use tools [but that] will not lead to better decisions. If you don\u2019t know what you are doing, easy to use tools lead to more spectacular failure,\u201d Buytendijk told attendees.\nHe cited Gartner research which suggests that by 2016, around 25 per cent of organisations using consumer data will face reputation damage due to an inadequate understanding of information trust issues.\n"Big data is at the top of the hype cycle but after that peak of inflated expectation comes the trough of disillusionment \u2026 what if the tipping point becomes the slipping point?\n\u201cAnd we start to hear about the first spectacular failures on how investments didn\u2019t pay back, on how technology didn\u2019t do what it was supposed to do \u2026 and we\u2019ve already seen the first examples of how organisations have taken big data too far and crossed the creepy line."\nHe referred to the high profile example of the US National Security Agency collecting almost 200 million text messages daily across the globe.\n\u201cDo companies and governments not care? Are companies evil? Are companies invading our privacy system unethically?\u201d he asked.\n\u201cMaybe some but most are not. Most want to respect their customers and their privacy \u2013 they just want to get to know you and find the best way to sell their products and services to you.\u201d\nBut in the process, they can go too far with unintended consequences down the line.\nHe highlighted a situation in late 2013 where TV manufacturer LG investigated claims that its smart TVs sent data on users\u2019 viewing habits back to the company without consent as an example of data gathering and analysis out of control.\n\u201cThe CEO of LG had to publicly declare that this indeed was going too far and they would release a patch. The CEO talking about a patch: As an IT person [if that happens] you know you\u2019re in trouble,\u201d he said.\nHe said organisations needed to accept that in an age driven by digital business, \u201cwe are simply not in control.\u201d\n\u201cWe need to adapt and anticipate use cases in our information infrastructures that simply don\u2019t exist today,\u201d he said. He was referring predominantly to challenges in areas such as social analytics, cloud security, privacy and data ownership.\n\u201cDon\u2019t get me wrong, I\u2019m all for moving fast but [we need] to make sure that once in a while, we know where to find the brakes.\u201d\nHe highlighted a UK health insurer offering customers a \u201cquantified self-tracking\u201d device, where users earn points for walking a certain number of steps each day as another potential misuse of consumer data.\n\u201cDo I really want me health insurer to track how much I move? There\u2019s no privacy any more.\u201d\nHe also warned about the use of predictive analytics, saying that it can\u2019t predict the future rather it identifies a pattern of what can happen in certain situations.\nHe asked the audience to consider a doctor who is called on to treat an epidemic and try experimental medication that a specialist says will save 30 per cent of people. He suggested that in this scenario, the doctor would administer the medication to save the people.\n\u201cNow let\u2019s reverse the scenario \u2013 imagine a specialist tells you that the medication will not work on 70 per cent of people. Would you do it anyway? Probably not but it is the same situation.\n\u201cWe humans are notoriously bad when understanding probability. When asked more than 80 per cent of people feel that they belonged to the best 50 per cent of car drivers," he said.\n"We tend to mistake patterns for reality - that's how we're built. Sometimes what we need to hit the brake for hardest is ourselves."