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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
BE Firm Solution Cream commented on 13-Jun-2019 01:12 AM
Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you
been blogging for? you made blogging look easy.
The overall look of your website is great, let alone the
content!
discuss commented on 13-Jun-2019 01:23 AM
Hello mates, nice post and good arguments commented
here, I am in fact enjoying by these.
Keto Select Reviews commented on 13-Jun-2019 01:30 AM
Hi there, I wish for to subscribe for this blog to take most up-to-date updates, therefore
where can i do it please help out.
Norberto commented on 13-Jun-2019 01:30 AM
Same goes for viral marketing, that you need to do pursuit to make sure you are heading the right way.
Building links marketing strategies derive from a voting system, the harder websites url to you, the harder popular you seem inside eyes of engines like google, they reward website pages which are judged fat loss beneficial by other sites ( after they place one of the links for a web-site).
It is a fact that online pr releases are fantastic for enhancing the reputation of any website.

Also visit my blog Fortnite Hacks
Bebe commented on 13-Jun-2019 01:32 AM
Hi it's me, I am also visiting this website on a regular basis, this web site is actually pleasant and the people are really sharing good thoughts.


Here is my web-site:blog noticed
Nathan commented on 13-Jun-2019 01:35 AM
Hello, Neat post. There is an issue along wiyh your web site in web explorer, could check this?
IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief aand a
large part of other peopple will pass over
your fantastic writing because of this problem.
Dominik commented on 13-Jun-2019 01:41 AM
I definitely wanted to write down a brief note in order to appreciate you for these pleasant items you are showing on this website.

My extended internet search has at the end of the day been rewarded with reasonable points to exchange with my classmates and friends. I would believe that many of us site visitors actually are extremely endowed to dwell in a useful community with many special people with good concepts.
I feel very fortunate to have encountered your web site and look forward to tons of more exciting times reading here. Thank you once again for everything.

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web site and also get involved in visitors' responses like this.

Should a position connected with guest author become offered at
your end, i highly recommend you let me know.
Daftar idpro commented on 13-Jun-2019 01:54 AM
Very shortly this website will be famous amid all blog users,
due to it's good articles or reviews
Serene Glo Cream commented on 13-Jun-2019 02:02 AM
I am extremely inspired with your writing skills as neatly as with the format for your blog.
Is that this a paid theme or did you modify it your
self? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it's rare to look a
great weblog like this one these days..
Stuart commented on 13-Jun-2019 02:03 AM
Hi there, You've done a great job. I'll definitely digg it and individually suggest to my friends.

I am confident they will be benefited from this website.

my web sitebest travel
ONLINE CVV SHOP commented on 13-Jun-2019 02:09 AM
I'm really impressed together with your writing
talents and also with the format to your weblog. Is that this
a paid subject matter or did you customize it yourself?
Anyway stay up the nice quality writing, it's rare
to peer a great weblog like this one nowadays..
http://Heliusagelessmoisturizer.com/ commented on 13-Jun-2019 02:09 AM
You've made some really good points there. I checked on the internet for additional information about the issue and found
most people will go along with your views on this site.
https://liveactiveketo.com/ commented on 13-Jun-2019 02:20 AM
I don't know whether it's just me or if everybody else
encountering problems with your blog. It appears
as if some of the text on your content are running off
the screen. Can somebody else please provide feedback and let
me know if this is happening to them as well? This might be a problem with my internet browser because I've had this happen previously.
Many thanks
Http://wiki.mdwcloud.com/ commented on 13-Jun-2019 02:26 AM
I'm really inspired together with your writing abilities and also with the layout
in your weblog. Is that this a paid subject oor did you modify it yourself?
Either way stay up the excellent quality writing, it's rare to peer a nice weblog
like this one these days..
After I originally commented I seem to have clicked the
-Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time
a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same
comment. Is there an easy method you can remove
me from that service? Thank you!
Keto Cleanse Pro Reviews commented on 13-Jun-2019 02:29 AM
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situs 4dl commented on 13-Jun-2019 02:35 AM
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Active Luxe Keto commented on 13-Jun-2019 02:35 AM
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I'll bookmark your website and take the feeds additionally...I'm
happy to search out numerous helpful information here within the submit,
we want work out extra strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing.
bolaqiuqiu commented on 13-Jun-2019 02:36 AM
Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you
might be a great author. I will ensure that I bookmark your
blog and may come back sometime soon. I want to encourage one to continue your great writing,
have a nice holiday weekend!
BE Firm Solution Reviews commented on 13-Jun-2019 02:43 AM
Good post however I was wondering if you could write
a litte more on this topic? I'd be very thankful
if you could elaborate a little bit more. Thanks!
https://bammaleenhancement.com/ commented on 13-Jun-2019 02:49 AM
Hey there! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I'd figured I'd ask.
Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing a
blog post or vice-versa? My website goes over a lot of the same
topics as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other.

If you happen to be interested feel free to send me an email.
I look forward to hearing from you! Excellent blog by the way!
daftaragendomino.Over-blog.Com commented on 13-Jun-2019 03:01 AM
Interesting blog! Is your theme custom made or did you
download it from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple
tweeks would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where
you got your theme. Appreciate it
https://bodyauthoritymaleenhancement.com/ commented on 13-Jun-2019 03:02 AM
Thank you for any other informative website.
The place else may I get that kind of information written in such a perfect means?
I've a mission that I'm simply now running on, and I have been at the look out for such info.

Post a Comment




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Trackback Link
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