By Gemma Morris
31st October 2016

If you follow the KDR blog you’ll know we love writing about big data and how it is being used in the real world, whether this is helping beat poverty, preventing fraud or even just making sport more entertaining.

But it is Halloween, so it seems like no better time to take a look at the dark side of data and what happens when the data goes bad!

Here are our top data horror stories:

Data horror stories

Data Quality

Earlier this year a man’s house in Texas was torn down because of a Google Maps GPS error. The demolition workers had relied on Google Maps to take them to the correct address, however Google had the wrong location and the real house was actually a block away.

And what’s really scary is that this isn’t the first time this has happened in Texas!

Data Loss

This one is straight from Hollywood. During the making of Toy Story 2 one of the employees accidentally pressed the remove all button, when they went to the backup drive it turned out it hadn’t been working in months.

Luckily the Technical Director had made a personal backup drive!

Data Leak

One beauty site allowed users to have their email address as their registration with no password, this meant that when someone wanted to check out quickly they could put their email address in and all their personal details would appear.

Seems fine, until someone enters other people’s email addresses and gets their personal details as well.

Data Loss (again)

In 2015 many drivers across the country found themselves having their driving license taken off them for no reason and having to retake their tests. One driver sent his license to the DVLA to update his address and when it returned it was missing his entitlement to ride a motorbike and when he phoned to complain he was told he could lose his full driving license as there was no record of him being able to drive!

It turns out the DVLA’s systems were deleting driver’s records.

EXTRA

Check out IQTrainwrecks.info, run by data expert Daragh O’Brien, they gave us plenty of inspiration for writing this blog and have some real data quality train wrecks!

These are our top data horror stories but there are plenty more out there, and sometimes it’s not just major data fails that scare us, as KDR’s Leon said “receiving a mass-targeted email with the first line as “Hello @FIRSTNAME” always makes me cringe!” 

What are your data horror stories? Do you have any first-hand experiences with “bad data”?

KDR Recruitment is the home of the UK's best Information Management and Analytics jobs. Follow us on LinkedIn to read the latest industry news.

Comments

Currently there are no comments. Be the first to post one!

Post Comment

*
*
*

Have an opinion on Citizen Data Scientists? We want to hear from you!

Each quarter we produce an e-magazine on issues the information management and data analytics industry might be facing. In previous issues we have looked at: GDPR , Self-Service BI and Data Warehousing . We are constantly looking for guests to write articles... Read More

The importance of keeping your data safe in a data driven world

The security of our personal data is becoming more important in this data driven world. It’s not unheard of for major security and cyber hacks where people’s personal data is stolen, or just simply their technology is ‘taken over’. The... Read More

4 reasons a coding bootcamp could be for you

The popularity of coding and data science bootcamps across America is rapidly growing with it becoming an alternative route into the working world, rather than attending university. I recently wrote about why a company should hire a coding and data... Read More

Will Virtual Reality change the way we live?

Virtual Reality (VR) is taking many industries by storm. From gaming companies to film makers, VR is revolutionising the way we view the world. While Virtual Reality is being incorporated into the way companies are working and creating new products,... Read More

Where should we send our newsletter?

Close