The surfacing of the Facebook debacle involving Cambridge Analytica and the massive amounts of data collected from 87 million users, which was used to influence the 2016 presidential election, revealed big data as the powerful beast it can be.

Even when used with good intentions, as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg alleged his company did, data can lead people, and businesses, astray.

Wired dives straight to the heart of the matter:

“Modernity provides too many variables, but too little data per variable. So the spurious relationships grow much, much faster than real information. In other words: Big data may mean more information, but it also means more false information.”

The cherry picking that can be done with big data allows you to manipulate information to tell you whatever you want it to, which is great for headlines, but bad for business.

However, that’s not to say that big data can’t still be an essential tool in your arsenal as your grow your ecommerce channel.