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In this discussion, we look at aspects of behavioral economics / behavioral finance that influence how people behave – and how businesses and other organizations (e.g., political parties) use predictable behavioral biases among people.

In business, the science of Business Analytics actively uses data for target groups (e.g., consumers) to formulate and implement strategies to increase revenues and profits.

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Business analytics has become a standard tool in business, but it is sometimes controversial because of the related issues of privacy and ethics.  There are pros and cons: business analytics has benefits such as matching advertising to the unique preferences of individuals or target groups, but some people consider it invasive.

Let’s watch the video called “Hacking Your Mind”, which looks at behavioral economics and how so-called “big data” can be used in business analytics.

https://www.pbs.org/video/weapons-of-influence-gpuj68/  Hacking Your Mind   PBS

The importance of business analytics to business is illustrated by how the stock market valuation of Meta (formerly Facebook, now META on Nasdaq) fell when Apple (AAPL) implemented privacy measures in January 2022 that reduces Meta’s advertising revenue by an estimated 10%:

com/quote/META?p=META&.tsrc=fin-srch” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener”>https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/META?p=META&.tsrc=fin-srchLinks to an external site.

com/2022/02/02/facebook-says-apple-ios-privacy-change-will-cost-10-billion-this-year.html” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener”>https://www.cnbc.com/2022/02/02/facebook-says-apple-ios-privacy-change-will-cost-10-billion-this-year.htmlLinks to an external site. CNBC impact of Apple privacy software on Facebook

As business students, you will almost certainly use business analytics directly or indirectly in your role as a manager.

Questions:

a) on the negative side, have you ever had an online experience where you felt that an online experience encroached on your privacy too much (e.g., collecting information that you felt was private);

(b) overall, do you think that business can ethically use business analytics to improve the consumer experience, and at the same time improve corporate profits?

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