One of the pieces of information that Target might want from the outside has to do with overall economic trends. The company will have to reckon with the ability of consumers to buy during down and upturns in the economy. In addition, the company could benefit significantly from industry trends. While it is good to have internal market data that demonstrates a customer’s likelihood to favor a company’s products, it is good to also have information about the things people are buying from your competitors. This could help the company know which products to market more aggressively or, in the alternative, to help the company understand which new product lines it might try out. One of the issues of implementing big data in this day and age comes from the fact that many consumers are wary of companies and entities that are looking to collect this data. There is distinct anti-data sentiment, especially in light of some recent scandals involving government collection of data. Companies could suffer PR consequences if they fail to properly account for these trends. Companies can use the data posted online by younger consumers to develop new products that better fit the needs of the new consumer. By getting to know these consumers better, companies can provide items for these people before they even know that they want or need an item.
One of the dark sides has to do with the potential for governmental abuse. The government has shown a willingness to compel businesses to turn over data. In addition, many consumers dislike the constancy of marketing that they receive as a result of big data use. If companies do not take these things into account, they run the risk of alienating consumers. They run the risk of being seen as non-transparent in such a way that consumers look down on the company’s activities.

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  • Marshall, G. W., & Johnston, M. W. (2010). Marketing management. McGraw-Hill Irwin. pg. 89.