What's the purpose of using data and analytics on online learning? This seemingly simple question hides a deep divide. On the one hand, we could use it to improve our online materials. That's the approach we almost never take. "That approach also stands in marked contrast to the learning analytics view," writes Tony Hirst, "which is more akin to the current dystopia being developed by Google et al. In this world, data is collected not to improve the thing we control (the course content, structure and navigation) but to control the user so they better meet our metrics. Data is collected not so that we can make interventions in the thing we control (the course content, structure and navigation) but “the product” — the student. Interventions are there so we can tell the students where they are going wrong, where they are not performing."