Day 5 Week 3 – Normative Versus Special Behaviors

Rest day, no running.

Thoughts on Big Data:

Normative behaviors form the standards for the group in question.  They reflect the collective expectation for what is acceptable.  In my residential community for instance, I am expected to maintain my yard so the grass in my yard do not exceed certain height.

When I (or someone I hire) out in my yard mowing the lawn this time of the year, which means every other week, is considered a normative behavior.  And yes, there is a tolerance band (2 weeks in my yard example) to deviate from the norm and still be considered acceptable.

Special behaviors, any behaviors outside the band, could be good or bad.  Good that they distinguish us, after-all isn’t everyone of us special?  Bad that these behaviors make people uncomfortable or at least pause.  Using my lawn mowing example, every week is good but every month is bad or give my neighbors reason to pause.

Big data analytics points to this normative behaviors and predicts what’s next.  If X then Y, X is the treatment like sales or promotions, and Y the result such as extra revenues or reduced costs.  Beer and diapers is one of such famous tales.

But the point is that the normative behaviors may be the standards, the special behaviors are the ones that tell the story.  The former is expected but the later provides insight. With bigger data, the analytics, when focused, can distinguish the special behaviors from the normative ones.

Now that is the story.

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