I just love the so called political correct terminology used today. How they decide it’s really a political correct term is beyond me. Why don’t they call it what it is; misleading terminology, whitewashing, sugar coating. Example: collaterial damage ie. innocent people fatally killed in the wake of combat.
Now the new term for collecting information on people to compile marketing lists so that we can all receive more junk mail, marketing phone calls and faxes is a cute little term called Data Mining.
This is a quote from a banking website on the subject:
Let me try to clarify this. We are wanting to contact our commercial customers’ payors that do not bank with us. We would get the information off their checks when our commercial customers deposit them. For example, I use ABC Cleaners and pay by check but I bank at a different bank than the Cleaners. The Cleaner’s bank would take my information off my check to contact me.
Data mining has been defined as “The nontrivial extraction of implicit, previously unknown, and potentially useful information from data”  and “The science of extracting useful information from large data sets or databases” . Although it is usually used in relation to analysis of data, data mining, like artificial intelligence, is an umbrella term and is used with varied meaning in a wide range of contexts.
The Kirchman Corporation, a leading provider of automation software and compliance services to the banking industry, with over 800 financial institutions worldwide recently publised a 4 page gloss executive summary on Data Mining in the banking industry.
[The Kirchman Corporation became a Metavante subsidiary in May 2004 and operates within the Metavante Financial Services Group. Metavante is a subsidiary of Marshall & Ilsley Corporation (NYSE: MI) Kirchman Bankway®, the easiest-to-use and most customer-focused core bank software on the market, provides a comprehensive package of business solutions for use by the smallest de novo to the largest multi-billion-dollar bank holding company. Operating on IBM and Sun Microsystems hardware platforms, Kirchman Bankway® makes it easy for everyone from the teller to the CEO to access everything they need to know about their customers, right at their fingertips.[www.kirchman.com, Orlando. FL]
Data Mining software is used to analyse customer data and trends in banking as well as many other industries. Chase analyzed the attributes and habits of its checking account customers for clues that might reveal how to set the minimum balance requirement to retain profitable customers. The staff used data mining to develop profiles of customer groups whose members consistently had trouble maintaining minimum balances.
I’m sure you no where I’m headed with this. If Banks use Data Mining to predict trends in one area of services, it’s not a far leap to say they would also use data mining to add courtesy bounce protection to customers who have a low balance and would be more likley to overdraft. Would it be too far of a leap to say banks might even use data mining in deciding what customers may get their account processed high to low?