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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
바카라 commented on 18-Sep-2018 02:32 AM
Great post. I was checking continuously this blog
and I'm impressed! Very helpful info specifically the last part :)
I care for such info a lot. I was seeking this particular info for a long time.
Thank you and good luck.
Lovely just what I was searching for. Thanks to the author for taking his clock time on this one.
Amazing! Thiis blog looks exacttly like my old one! It's on a
entirely different subject but it has pretty much the same
layout and design. Outstanding choice of colors!
Robyn commented on 18-Sep-2018 02:52 AM
say thanks to a lot for your site it assists a whole lot.


Have a look at my homepagedriving in top gear
yes카지노 쿠폰 commented on 18-Sep-2018 02:54 AM
I know this if off topic but I'm looking into starting my own weblog and
was wondering what all is needed to get setup? I'm assuming having a blog like yours would
cost a pretty penny? I'm not very web savvy so I'm not 100%
positive. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
anchortext commented on 18-Sep-2018 03:05 AM
Be both a helpful guide through complex issues with an informed judge when choices have to be made.
The goal is always to find a method to give you a complete response, all while focusing on as small a region of investigation as possible.
However, you can even be wondering and you'll discover good
essay writing examples.
Bess commented on 18-Sep-2018 03:15 AM
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Thanks for all of your time & work.

My web site:home Based Businesses
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pakistan Defense Industry commented on 18-Sep-2018 03:38 AM
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I like tthe helpul info you provide in yoour articles.
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I amm quite sue I will learn many new stuff right here!
Good luck for the next!
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Air Max and a die-reduce EVA insert for added consolation.
Ellis commented on 18-Sep-2018 04:29 AM
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Belt Conveyor commented on 18-Sep-2018 04:32 AM
Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author.I will always bookmark your blog and will often come
back very soon. I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great work, have a nice day!
конвейер для одежды commented on 18-Sep-2018 04:35 AM
You are so interesting! I do not suppose I have read anything like that before.
So good too discover another perso with a few genuinee thoughts on this issue.
Seriously.. thank yyou for starting this up. This
site is something that's needed on the internet, someone with some originality!
anchortext commented on 18-Sep-2018 04:41 AM
and yet [cue for newness] bravery, constancy, and resolution [reverse of submission].
Each format pressupposes a certain formation plus design for citing rephrased and
echoed resources in support of all selections of printed, internet, and other
sorts of resources. Reading and writing whenever possible certainly is the best strategy to develop a writing style.
Military Defense Technology commented on 18-Sep-2018 04:50 AM
Thanks , I've recently been searching for info about this subject
for ages and yours is the best I have discovered till now.

But, what about the bottom line? Are you sure in regards to the supply?
Minna commented on 18-Sep-2018 04:53 AM
This piece of writing is really a pleasant one it helps new net
visitors, who are wishing in favor of blogging.
Krystle commented on 18-Sep-2018 05:26 AM
Thanks a ton for sharing this good web site.

My weblog ::car accessories
Moses commented on 18-Sep-2018 05:38 AM
Fortunately, you can find ways to make experience more convenient for the
online shopper. This has increased its efficiency together interested using a section of
virtually any vehicle will certainly understand it using their company.

This in turn rotates the other pulley wheels including,
importantly, the alternator pulley.
Marty commented on 18-Sep-2018 05:41 AM
Many people all across the world procure expensive cars, bikes
as well as other automobile current passage of your time consider it wise of causing some innovative changes in their vehicles.
One should check out the dismantler just in case they are looking for that used parts for vintage cars, because the parts they are trying to find is probably not manufactured anymore.

They are indeed the top place to look if you need
to replace a portion of your car or truck which has been supplying you with trouble.
Ross commented on 18-Sep-2018 05:48 AM
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Also visit my blog:car stereos

Post a Comment




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