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Data Scientists Warn Consumers of Data Privacy Concerns

Revolution Analytics Survey Reveals That 80% of Statisticians Believe There Should be an Ethical Framework in Place for Big Data Analytics

Nine out of ten statisticians (88%) believe that consumers should worry about privacy issues related to the data that is being collected on them, according to a recent survey by Revolution Analytics, the leading commercial provider of software, services and support for the open source R project. The survey of 865 respondents included sentiment from U.S. (80%) and Canadian (9%) statisticians and data scientists in the education (61%) and life sciences/healthcare (18%) industry. The survey took place in August at the 2013 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM), the largest gathering of statisticians in North America, held in Montreal, Canada. For full survey results visit  

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"With more organizations able to collect, store and explore their data for operational and market insights, we are seeing increasing demand for even more data and faster ways to derive insight from that data. From this survey we see that the people who are the most hands-on with the data – the statisticians – feel ethics should play a large part in data science and that an industry standard is desired to provide a professional, ethical framework,” said David Smith, vice president of marketing and community at Revolution Analytics. “Consumers have weighed in on this topic and it is important to know that statisticians share this concern."

Out of the 865 statisticians surveyed:

  • A majority of the data scientists surveyed (life sciences/healthcare 89%, education 87%) believe that consumers should worry about privacy issues with all of the data being collected on them.
  • 80% agreed that there should be an ethical framework in place for collecting and using data.
  • More than half of data scientists agreed that ethics already play a big part in their research.
  • Only 10% of respondents thought that there should not be an ethical framework with 1% stating that ethics should not play a part in data research.
  • In the education industry, 76% of data scientists said that there should be an ethical framework in place for data analytics – while 49% of that group declared that ethics already play a large part in their research.
  • Similarly, 92% in the life sciences/healthcare industry agreed that having an ethical framework was necessary, while 64% of those data scientists stated that ethics are already a part of their research.

About Revolution Analytics
Revolution Analytics is the leading commercial provider of software and services based on the open source R project for statistical computing. The company brings high performance, productivity and enterprise readiness to R, the most powerful statistics language in the world. The company’s flagship Revolution R Enterprise product is designed to meet the production needs of large organizations in industries such as finance, life sciences, retail, manufacturing and media. Used by over two million analysts in academia and at cutting-edge companies such as Google, Bank of America and Acxiom, R has emerged as the standard of innovation in statistical analysis. Revolution Analytics is committed to fostering the continued growth of the R community through sponsorship of the community site, funding worldwide R user groups and offering free licenses of Revolution R Enterprise to everyone in academia.

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