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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
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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
YooSlim commented on 28-Jun-2019 10:47 AM
Useful info. Lucky me I discovered your website accidentally, and I am stunned why this twist of
fate didn't took place in advance! I bookmarked it.
Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.

Look advanced to far added agreeable from you!
By the way, howw can we communicate?
Libido Force Reviews commented on 28-Jun-2019 10:52 AM
Respect to article author, some wonderful entropy.
futanarianimetube.com commented on 28-Jun-2019 10:53 AM
Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wanted
to mention that I have really enjoyed surfing around your weblog posts.
After all I will be subscribing for your rss feed and I'm hoping you write again very soon!
Excellent article. I'm dealing with a few of these issues as well..
http://5char.link/totalreactioncbdoilreviews77624 commented on 28-Jun-2019 10:55 AM
Undeniably consider that that you stated.
Your favorite justification appeared to be at the internet the simplest factor to take
into accout of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed even as other folks consider concerns that they plainly don't
realize about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the top
and also outlined out the entire thing with no need side-effects , people could take
a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks
Chase commented on 28-Jun-2019 10:58 AM
Thank you for the blog post. Thomas and I have been saving to buy a new ebook on this matter and your short article has made us all to save money.
Your ideas really clarified all our concerns. In fact, above what we had known just before we discovered your excellent blog. I no longer have doubts including a troubled mind because you have actually attended to our own needs above. Thanks

Also visit my weblog ::female tattoo gallery
Wow, that's what I was exploring for, what a material!
existing here at this web site, thanks admin of this web page.
Wanda commented on 28-Jun-2019 11:20 AM
Really clean site, regards for this post.

Here is my homepage;win288
Kristin commented on 28-Jun-2019 11:22 AM
Computers can certainly stimulate the minds of students to make them think regarding various true to life situations.
In contrast game design entails employed in conjunction with the developer but only on specific facets of the project like the character design, rules, gameplay features and storyline. A few years ago everyone belief that every one of the computer science jobs was outsourced; who have believed that an application which leads to your computer science career makes a real dramatic comeback on popularity charts.


Also visit my web-site;Fortnite Hacks
Hello there, just became alert to your blog through
Google, and found that it is really informative. I?m gonna watch
out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future.
Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!
What's up i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anyplace,
when i read this piece of writing i thought i could also make
comment due to this brilliant article.
anno 1800 keygen commented on 28-Jun-2019 11:33 AM
This does interest me
Hello.This post was really remarkable, especially since I was browsing for thoughts on this topic last Tuesday.
Adele commented on 28-Jun-2019 11:40 AM
Nice weblog right here! Also your site a lot up fast!
What host are you the usage of? Can I get your associate hyperlink in your host? I want my site loaded up as fast as yours lol.

My blog post -바카라사이트
garotas De programa GoiâNia commented on 28-Jun-2019 11:40 AM
Constantemente leio sobre o assunto e também ultimamente sua postagem foi a
que mais gostei. Espero que você prossiga à aprender e também em
contribuir para o tema.
Peter Cedeno commented on 28-Jun-2019 11:45 AM
Very soon this web page will be famous amid all blog people,
due to it's fastidious articles or reviews
https://5tf.de/bionativeketoingredients766359 commented on 28-Jun-2019 11:48 AM
Excellent information once again! Thanks:)
Hello.This post was really remarkable, particularly because I was
looking for thoughts on this subject last week.
https://www.telechat.info/author/alizaconnib/ commented on 28-Jun-2019 11:54 AM
Hey very interesting blog!
Libido Force Reviews commented on 28-Jun-2019 12:03 PM
I am sure this article has touched all the internet viewers, its really really nice piece of writing
on building up new blog.
MediPure Review commented on 28-Jun-2019 12:05 PM
Wow! Thank you! I continually needed to write on my blog something like that.
Can I implement a fragment of your post to my website?
Its fantastic as your other articles :D, appreciate it for
posting.
Kandis commented on 28-Jun-2019 12:10 PM
Ahaa, its good discussion regarding this article here at this blog, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting at this place.



My blog post -phụ kiện trang trí sinh nhật bé
Troy commented on 28-Jun-2019 12:12 PM
After checking out a few of the blog posts on your blog, I seriously like your way of blogging.
I saved it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my web site as well and let me know how you feel.

Also visit my web page 스포츠토토

Post a Comment




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Trackback Link
http://www.datascientists.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=10882&PostID=712403&A=Trackback
Trackbacks
Post has no trackbacks.