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Data Mining: How is your data being used?

by Sylar

So shot this for my computer class . . . here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcI94Lt4hU0&feature=youtu.be


In a POV from the shopping cart, JULIA walks around the store.

JULIA (V. O.):

Millions of people go to Target every day. People will not only buy a carton of milk, but toys, school supplies, clothes, and furniture at Target. Using a system called “Data Mining,” Target and other companies use this information to their advantage.



Julia walks through the door.


Today, we’ll be learning about what data mining is, how some types of data mining work, and how companies use this data to their benefit.


Julia stands in the center of the white room.


Let’s take a second to imagine something. Imagine you are the father of a teenage girl living in a small town. Each day, Target sends you coupons, usually coupons for milk, cereal, and school supplies.

An image of Target coupons appears on the screen.

JULIA (cont.):

Today, the coupons are for baby supplies, bottles, diapers, car seats. Enraged, you drive to the store and yell at the manager. “Are you trying to get my teen to become pregnant?” you scream. When you get home, your daughter tells you the big news. Oops, she really was pregnant!


Title card. Screen reads: “Data Mining: How is your data being used?”




Now, you’ll probably want to know, what even is data mining? As the Google dictionary says, “data mining is the practice of examining large databases in order to generate new information.” In other words, data mining can simplify data and allow us to infer things about it based on patterns that have already been observed.



Julia unpacks a Target shopping bag. She pulls out coupons.


Huh, I needed these. Anyway, know that you know what data mining is, you must be wondering how data mining works.




Data mining will see what you buy and makes predictions according to it. So let’s say you are watching, hm, “Doctor Who”

A “Doctor Who” poster appears on the screen.

JULIA (cont.):

on Netflix, and you notice there are other TV shows recommended to you under the show.

A screenshot of “recommended” on Netflix appears on the screen.

JULIA (cont.):

Netflix sees you like Doctor Who and recommends other witty science fiction shows and popular BBC dramas. Netflix took your information and predicted what you would like, and that’s called “association learning.”

A picture of President Obama appears on screen.

JULIA (cont.):

For Obama, it was used to predict exactly how much money they would get back from each fund-raising e-mail. They saw what demographic of people weren’t donating, and they acted on it. 30-40 year old women weren’t donating, and Obama’s team added a Sarah Jessica Parker dinner sweepstakes for donors.



Julia sits at her computer, searching for something on the internet.


Hey, new Harry Potter t-shirts! I was looking for those! Speaking of ads, data mining is also used to target customers with ads. They use different types of targets such as behavioral targeting and predictive targeting. Predictive targeting is like association learning, it takes what the user likes and recommends other products and services, it’s just that this is used for ads.


Julia sits in her car, a POV camera following her as they move.


Learning about what companies can do with your data is a little creepy. Believe me, I know. I shop at Target all the time. After learning about data mining, I can see the use of my data in the real world. I see how ads relate to me, I see how coupons relate to me, and I see how these companies use my data for their profit. Like Andrew Pole (the creator of Target’s pregnancy-prediction model) says, “Just wait. We’ll be sending you coupons for things you want before you even know you want them.”

Julia gets out of the car and grabs a Target cart.



Works Cited

Blogspot. (NA). Doctor Who Poster. Retrieved June 5, 2014, from Blogspot: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ntNwwRWgNgk/UM97WvAQFPI/AAAAAAACL4M/_ZpLLWvfoOc/s1600/doctor_who_poster15.jpg

Duhigg, C. (2012, Februrary 16). How Companies Learn Your Secrets. Retrieved May 22, 2014, from New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/shopping-habits.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Furnas, A. (2012, April 3). Everything You Wanted to Know About Data Mining but Were Afraid to Ask. Retrieved May 22, 2014, from The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-data-mining-but-were-afraid-to-ask/255388/

Google. (NA). What is Data Mining? Retrieved May 22, 2014, from Google: https://www.google.com/search?q=what+is+data+mining&oq=what&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j69i59j0l4.2513j0j7&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8

Marwick, A. E. (2014, January 14). How Your Data Are Being Deeply Mined. Retrieved May 27, 2014, from NY Books: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/jan/09/how-your-data-are-being-deeply-mined/

Memory, J. (2014, May 30). Data Mining. (J. Memory, Interviewer)

The Best Daily Deals. (NA). Target Coupons. Retrieved June 5, 2014, from The Best Daily Deals: http://thebestdailydeals.com/images/target-coupons-saving-money-at-target_naete_4.jpg

Wikipedia. (NA). Official Portrait or Barack Obama. Retrieved June 5, 2014, from Wikipedia: http://http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e9/Official_portrait_of_Barack_Obama.jpg

Is this a review?



User avatar
19 Reviews

Points: 335
Reviews: 19

Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:09 pm
FluttershyFan wrote a review...

This is very interesting! I liked how you were informing in an entertaining way. This isn't much of a "story" but more of a documentary or something like that. There is nothing wrong with that and most people I know couldn't make something that was purely informative. I see that there is a lot of information but you might want to organize it more.
Sorry for the story review!
Keep up the good work!

User avatar
1333 Reviews

Points: 25775
Reviews: 1333

Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:07 am
Hannah wrote a review...

Hey, there, icannothearthings!
I loved stumbling across this because I recently subscribed to a channel on YouTube that does really educational and engaging videos about consumerism, economy, etc. So I am interested in this topic, and that's why I wanna see what we can do to make this script more effective.

First, I liked the little moments where the speaker kind of interacted with the process -- pulling out coupons, seeing the ads on the screen. I feel like these were intended to be delivered a little humorously, and that speaks to me because that's part of how the channel I subscribed to delivers their information -- humor so that it doesn't get too dry, so that's a really good instinct and I think it will be effective in the presentation!

BUT! The one problem I saw with this piece was a lack of clear organization. You have a lot of information to get across, and it seemed like you just went ahead and communicated whatever information you were thinking of at that time. I don't know what the MAIN point that you want to get across to me in this video is. It may be clear to you! I'm not saying that you had no organization when you went into it! But it came across to me, the reader/listener, as not seeming that way.

What do you want me to learn? Different types of Data Mining? What data mining does? What it can do? Generally a good rule of thumb is to put what you're going to present at the beginning of the presentation (I guess, I always hated this rule) so we know what you're going to be talking about and can check off the points as you go through them. I guess it works well if it's not like revealing all the points right away, just generally their ideas.

I guess the main reason this bothers me is because of the title: How is your data being used? But this piece never actually gets into the information of that. It talks about results, but not about how that data is used to RESULT in association learning, etc.

I hope these thoughts are helpful to you as you continue working on this piece/other pieces like it!
If you have questions or comments about my review, please PM me or reply here!
Good luck and keep writing~


icannothearthings says...

Thanks! I had to make this for school so I ha to add as much information as possible into this, but I might find a way to write a bit of an abstract for it.

Hannah says...

Ah! School work! Haha, well, then as long as it fits the criteria for the assignment. ;D

icannothearthings says...

I added a little abstract in the beginning. :)

Hannah says...

And the works cited, I see! :D

icannothearthings says...


User avatar
46 Reviews

Points: 467
Reviews: 46

Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:50 pm
Astronaut says...

My topic is educational YouTube, and when Mrs. Misrahi suggested "You could do something like one of those educational YouTube videos! Does anyone know anything about those?" Sean whispered "Alanna does."

I don't want to do one in this style, but I kind of want to do an educational YouTube video about educational YouTube videos,

dominusatramentum says...

Also, seriously? Credits? I think we can figure out that you made this.

icannothearthings says...

I'm giving my sources, a thanks to Target, and telling whatever music I used in the background.

dominusatramentum says...


icannothearthings says...

As you can see . . . WORKS CITED

For in everything it is no easy task to find the middle ... anyone can get angry—that is easy—or give or spend money; but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for everyone, nor is it easy; wherefore goodness is both rare and laudable and noble.
— Aristotle