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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
ecu Hardware fixtures Direct commented on 16-Sep-2018 09:41 PM
It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is
time to be happy. I've read this post and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting
things or tips. Maybe you can write next articles referrig to this article.
I want too read even more thngs about it!
Military Defense Technology commented on 16-Sep-2018 09:41 PM
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Great looking internet site. Presume you did a bunch of your very own coding.


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Military Defense Technology commented on 16-Sep-2018 10:11 PM
Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason appeared to
be on the web the easiest thing to be aware
of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people
think about worries that they just do not know about.
You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined
out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal.
Will probably be back to get more. Thanks
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I have read so many posts regarding the blogger lovers however this article is actually a nice post, keep it
up.
dating asian commented on 16-Sep-2018 10:26 PM
Each year, a huge number of Russian mail order brides visit western countries by marriage.
Among them, probably the most publicized match-making group were the
so-called Moonies. Before the Internet, men from the United States met Filipino women through picture personals companies.
Layla commented on 16-Sep-2018 10:30 PM
Every day, 1000's of domain names are registered.
anchortext commented on 16-Sep-2018 10:34 PM
So if you're expecting a great deal of help, know that this may not be forthcoming.
The goal would be to find a strategy to provide a complete response, all while focusing on as small a location of
investigation as possible. Run-on sentences occur on account of lack of
punctuation and happen whenever you become lost with your essay.
Dissolution lawyer Papers commented on 16-Sep-2018 10:57 PM
Hey there! I've been following your blog for a while now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Lubbock Texas!

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anchortext commented on 16-Sep-2018 11:09 PM
So in case you are expecting lots of help, be aware that this
may not be forthcoming. Cross out any irrelevant ones making your
better that will put them right into a logical order. Reading and
writing wherever possible is definitely the best strategy to develop
a writing style.
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at alone place.
Genie commented on 16-Sep-2018 11:12 PM
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Ecu Hardware troubleshooting commented on 16-Sep-2018 11:20 PM
Hey there this is kind of of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors
or if you have to manually code with HTML. I'm starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so
I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience.
Any help would be enormously appreciated!
Lorri commented on 16-Sep-2018 11:32 PM
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Gloutique Fashion commented on 16-Sep-2018 11:41 PM
"I don't design clothes. I design dreams." —Ralph Lauren
Lily commented on 16-Sep-2018 11:51 PM
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Earnest commented on 16-Sep-2018 11:52 PM
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also do similar in favor of you.
Gloutique Fashion commented on 16-Sep-2018 11:54 PM
"Fashion you can buy, but style you possess. The key to style is learning who you are, which takes years. There's no how-to road map to style. It's about self expression and, above all, attitude." —Iris Apfel
jaworznianin.pl commented on 17-Sep-2018 12:05 AM
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they're emotionally a part of someone. If you would like to spot a good agency
derived from one of that's fake the English utilized on the web page is
definitely understandable and contains few grammatical mistakes.
Before the Internet, men through the United States met Filipino women through picture personals companies.
Weapon Blog commented on 17-Sep-2018 12:13 AM
I'm really enjoying the design and layout of your blog.
It's a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for
me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to
create your theme? Outstanding work!
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http://sudantelecentreacademy.org commented on 17-Sep-2018 12:23 AM
Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles?
I mean, what you say is important and all. Nevertheless think of if you added some
great pictures or video clips to give your posts more, "pop"!
Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this blog could undeniably be one of the greatest in its
field. Good blog!
Rory commented on 17-Sep-2018 12:23 AM
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Also visit my weblogcar stereos
dating site commented on 17-Sep-2018 12:24 AM
Some Russian women are recognized for their promiscuity,
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adjusting and unlike the women from developed aspects of the
planet, they actually do not throw tantrums about. Even interracial, military as well as the disabled can discover online dating services
to be a more viable option these days.

Post a Comment




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