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How Can Thick Data Improve the Way We Use Big Data?

Troy Sadkowsky - Friday, June 30, 2017

 

April 16, 2017

TedTalk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaOUJa9fjXU

Medium: https://medium.com/ethnography-matters/why-big-data-needs-thick-data-b4b3e75e3d7

Big data can help us solve problems, optimize services, predict the future and learn more about ourselves and human behavior. But when big data cannot answer a question, or makes an incorrect prediction, what if it is because data is not telling us the whole story?

In a Ted Talk and an article on Medium, Tricia Wang, a technology ethnographer, implores us to realize that, even in the age of data-driven decision making, big data can have some serious blind spots, and often suffers from a loss of context through valuable variables and trends that defy quantification.

Insights on contained systems, such as electricity grids or delivery logistics, have established big data’s reputation for success. Although this reputation has attracted investment from a huge array of companies, Wang claims, 73% of big data projects are not profitable, because big data projects frequently do not produce the insights that they seem to promise. For dynamic systems, especially those that depend on human emotions, behavior, and how people are impacted and interact with their environment, certain variables are difficult to measure and model.

She describes how opportunities can be gained and losses diminished by using big data in conjugation with “thick data”, observations that use qualitative methods to understand human emotions, behaviors and interactions with context. For example, the realization by ethnographer Graham McCracken that Netflix users actually enjoy binge-watching, led Netflix to redesign their user experience, improve their business and transform the way we consume media. Through qualitative research and collecting stories about how users interact with their product, Netflix was able to go to their data science team, validate these findings, and act on this competitive insight.

Wang summarizes that while “Thick Data loses scale…Big Data loses resolution.” While big data analytics can have a huge sample size, recognize large-scale patterns, and benefit from the strengths of machine learning, thick data uses small samples sizes, but understands subjects at a much greater depth, and benefits from aspects of human intelligence and pattern recognition that still elude computer programs. As data scientists, the more we understand the limitations of our methods and pay attention to thick data, the more we can recognize the factors and variables our data is missing. With a more holistic perspective, data analysis is better poised to uncover more truthful and powerful insights.

 

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How Can Thick Data Improve the Way We Use Big Data?

Troy Sadkowsky - Friday, June 30, 2017

 

April 16, 2017

TedTalk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaOUJa9fjXU

Medium: https://medium.com/ethnography-matters/why-big-data-needs-thick-data-b4b3e75e3d7

Big data can help us solve problems, optimize services, predict the future and learn more about ourselves and human behavior. But when big data cannot answer a question, or makes an incorrect prediction, what if it is because data is not telling us the whole story?

In a Ted Talk and an article on Medium, Tricia Wang, a technology ethnographer, implores us to realize that, even in the age of data-driven decision making, big data can have some serious blind spots, and often suffers from a loss of context through valuable variables and trends that defy quantification.

Insights on contained systems, such as electricity grids or delivery logistics, have established big data’s reputation for success. Although this reputation has attracted investment from a huge array of companies, Wang claims, 73% of big data projects are not profitable, because big data projects frequently do not produce the insights that they seem to promise. For dynamic systems, especially those that depend on human emotions, behavior, and how people are impacted and interact with their environment, certain variables are difficult to measure and model.

She describes how opportunities can be gained and losses diminished by using big data in conjugation with “thick data”, observations that use qualitative methods to understand human emotions, behaviors and interactions with context. For example, the realization by ethnographer Graham McCracken that Netflix users actually enjoy binge-watching, led Netflix to redesign their user experience, improve their business and transform the way we consume media. Through qualitative research and collecting stories about how users interact with their product, Netflix was able to go to their data science team, validate these findings, and act on this competitive insight.

Wang summarizes that while “Thick Data loses scale…Big Data loses resolution.” While big data analytics can have a huge sample size, recognize large-scale patterns, and benefit from the strengths of machine learning, thick data uses small samples sizes, but understands subjects at a much greater depth, and benefits from aspects of human intelligence and pattern recognition that still elude computer programs. As data scientists, the more we understand the limitations of our methods and pay attention to thick data, the more we can recognize the factors and variables our data is missing. With a more holistic perspective, data analysis is better poised to uncover more truthful and powerful insights.

 

Comments
Amayze Life Keto Pills commented on 17-May-2019 07:06 AM
Of course, what a great website and revealing posts,
I will bookmark your website.All the Best!
Keto Buzz commented on 17-May-2019 07:09 AM
Some genuinely marvelous work on behalf of the
owner of this site, dead great subject material.
Keto Six Diet commented on 17-May-2019 07:21 AM
Hello.This post was really interesting, particularly
since I was investigating for thoughts on this matter last couple of days.
keto6diet.org commented on 17-May-2019 07:24 AM
May I simply say what a comfort to discover a person that truly knows what they are discussing
online. You certainly realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
More people must check this out and understand this side of your story.
I was surprised you aren't more popular because you most certainly possess the gift.
Tone Garcinia HCA commented on 17-May-2019 07:31 AM
I know this if off topic but I'm looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what
all is required to get setup? I'm assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
I'm not very web smart so I'm not 100% positive.
Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you
longUrl commented on 17-May-2019 07:33 AM
Post writing is also a fun, if you know after that you can write or
else it is complicated to write.
https://ketosix.org/ commented on 17-May-2019 07:35 AM
Hello.This post was extremely interesting, particularly because I was searching for thoughts on this topic
last Monday.
cifalatlanta.org#best family laywer commented on 17-May-2019 07:42 AM
Nicely done (or should I say, “written” ha!)…
Direct Lean Nutrition commented on 17-May-2019 07:58 AM
Thank you for helping out, superb info.
https://maxtrimketo.org/ commented on 17-May-2019 08:00 AM
Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor
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We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post.

I am very glad to see such magnificent info being shared freely
out there.
https://alessaserum.net/ commented on 17-May-2019 08:01 AM
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Max Trim Keto Diet commented on 17-May-2019 08:11 AM
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https://ketogenesys.org/ commented on 17-May-2019 08:15 AM
Good day! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?
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another platform. I would be great if you could
point me in the direction of a good platform.
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Hola! I've been following your web site for some time now
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Just wanted to say keep up the excellent work!
https://alessaserum.com/ commented on 17-May-2019 08:25 AM
Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your web-site is so cool.
I am impressed by the details that you've on this website. It
reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this website
page, will come back for extra articles. You, my pal,
ROCK! I found just the info I already searched all over
the place and just could not come across. What a perfect web-site.
Alessa Serum Reviews commented on 17-May-2019 08:37 AM
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https://directleanketodiet.com/ commented on 17-May-2019 08:46 AM
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and it's time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some
interesting things or advice. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article.
I want to read even more things about it!
https://noticeablyskin.org/ commented on 17-May-2019 08:50 AM
This is the right web site for anybody who wishes to understand this topic.

You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually will need to...HaHa).
You certainly put a fresh spin on a topic that's been discussed for many years.
Great stuff, just wonderful!
https://noticeablyskin.org/ commented on 17-May-2019 08:52 AM
Hi, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this blog post. It was inspiring.
Keep on posting!
https://nubacbdoil.com/ commented on 17-May-2019 08:55 AM
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will bookmark your blog.Have an awsome day!
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to interpret.
Keto Genesys Keto commented on 17-May-2019 09:13 AM
Helpful information. Fortunate me I found your site unintentionally, and
I am shocked why this accident didn't took place in advance!

I bookmarked it.
Florene commented on 17-May-2019 09:24 AM
I read this piece of writing completely about the resemblance of latest and precedinng technologies, it's
remarkable article.
Keto Genesys Keto Blend commented on 17-May-2019 09:25 AM
hey there and thank you for your information ? I?ve certainly picked
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I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I'm complaining, but slow loading instances times will sometimes
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Well I?m adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for much more of
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Keto Genesys commented on 17-May-2019 09:28 AM
At this time it seems like Expression Engine is the top blogging
platform out there right now. (from what I've read)
Is that what you are using on your blog?

Post a Comment




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