“Is this ethical?”
Jimmy spun around and faced his former dorm mate and current CEO. “These people know the tradeoff for using a free app. We get the data. We get the insights.” Jimmy turned back to the pair of computer screens. “If you wanted to raise an ethics flag on any of this, you could have done it before any of those rounds of venture capital.”
“You’re right. I relent,” Bryant sighed and sat on the stool to get a closer eye on the dataset. “Any good stuff in here?”
“I broke it down into people’s consumption by weight and goal weight.” Jimmy scrolled through screens and screens of charts, raw data and pivot tables comprised of March’s total data from their calorie tracker application. Now that he was in charge of their little company, Bryant didn’t get to play with the data as much would have liked. He was stuck working with selling their insight to food companies. The ads in their App were pennies compared to the shopping habits living in this data set.
Jimmy was pointing to the screen, “Guess what the number one food a three hundred pound person eats that a hundred and eighty pound person doesn’t.”
A lone spike form a bar graph caught Bryant’s attention more than learning more about Jimmy’s facts. “What’s this creeping on the edge here?”
“Oh that’s just Rhode Island.”
“The whole state?”
“No. I sort by Rhode Island for a laugh. We only have one user there so it’s fun to see what that one guy is eating. I even know his name. Mr. Jefferson.” Jimmy grabbed the mouse to navigate through the spreadsheet. “Here, I’ll set back to a nationwide look.”
Bryant gently brushed his partner’s hand from the mouse. “But look at his month over month. What’s that category header?”
Jimmy leaned forward. “Assorted meat.”
“Just look at it go up like that,” Bryant said, tracing his finger up the curve to the apex of the spike.
“Only one percent of our users even use that category. Could be a typo.”
Bryant took to the mouse and started routing through the information on this lone user. “No it’s the same entry over a number of days. Hmmm. A total outlier.”
“What else is he eating?” Jimmy seized the mouse back to answer his own question. “Some condiments.”
“That’s like two hundred eighty-eight thousand calories in like a week.”
“Dude was hungry.”
“No this is something different,” Bryant determined, furiously typing in his smart phone. Searching for something. “What’s city does that guy live in?”
“Call the police in Rhode Island.”
“Did this guy steal a bar-b-que stand or something?”
“No. It’s worse,” Bryan said, holding out his phone. Jimmy skimmed the article from the Woonsocket Call, the local newspaper. QUESTIONS REMAIN: WHERE’S KIMBERLY JEFFERSON? Apparently the Kimberly in question had disappeared in the past month leaving only three fingers behind.
Bryant lowered his head. “I think we have a cannibal. A cannibal counting his calories.”