Online marketers are putting too great a premium on scale, in a way that's actually making it harder to use consumer data effectively, writes Alan Pearlstein. Establishing granular data sets is the key to effective targeting, but many marketers are more inclined to pool different data sets into a uniform -- and therefore all but useless -- morass of information. "[M]ost of data ecosystem strives for scale instead of precision. ... Too many of us are making huge, blind buckets of data that are bloated and inaccurate," Pearlstein warns.

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