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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
meucci Engine ecu decoding commented on 17-Sep-2018 12:31 AM
Excellent website. Plenty of helpful infoo here. I am sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious.

And obviously, thanks to your sweat!
Riley commented on 17-Sep-2018 12:33 AM
Do not sign up a domain name that hass hyphens.
k11 cvt automatic ecu tester commented on 17-Sep-2018 12:57 AM
Hello, Neat post. There's a problem together with your site in internet explorer,
may check this? IE nonetheless is the marketplace leader and a good section of other folks will leave out your magnificent writing due to
this problem.
15 Best Domain Name Generators commented on 17-Sep-2018 01:01 AM
By 1992 only 15,000 domains have been registered.
Cardinal.leverage.it commented on 17-Sep-2018 01:12 AM
Finding a good website is much like playing a slot machine game the location where the chances are tilted for you to lose.

He has never mentioned this as you met anf the husband doesn't know how you really
feel about it. You must remember that it is the
man who's come in look for you and you usually are not
the one that is desperate anyhow, this might enable you to
give preference in your priorities also.
Denise commented on 17-Sep-2018 01:16 AM
Superb Web page, Maintain the beneficial job. Thanks.


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list of national security issues commented on 17-Sep-2018 01:18 AM
Touche. Outstanding arguments. Keep up the amazing work.
Maurice commented on 17-Sep-2018 01:27 AM
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anchortext commented on 17-Sep-2018 02:10 AM
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mark on NBA record books as he lives out the aim he created
practically 13 years ago.
http://chokolato.Co.nz/ commented on 17-Sep-2018 02:56 AM
Isn't it easier to $10 - $30 to meet real people trying to find
love, rather than to waste time with folks trying to scam
us, or perhaps get us directly into bed. This is forget
about true than when reaching a potential partner, the location where the procedure
by which you say things will determine whether you bomb or succeed.

Before the Internet, men in the United States met Filipino women through picture personals companies.
james harden shoes commented on 17-Sep-2018 03:00 AM
The basketball star first introduced his fashion ideas for Adidas, on and off the court,
through a virtual-reality presentation at the sportswear model's interactive hub in Las Vegas in July Harden has been growing the product since final
fall.
kobe 12 commented on 17-Sep-2018 03:02 AM
That period ended after the first Dream Team, led by Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan, gained the gold medal within the 1992
Olympics by many accounts the greatest assortment of
expertise on one staff in any sport in history.
james harden shoes commented on 17-Sep-2018 03:06 AM
The next pair to launch will likely be this one, which is slated nike flyknit to officially hit NSW accounts like Sneaker
Politics on Saturday, August 14th.
Kobe 12 commented on 17-Sep-2018 03:08 AM
By 1985, NBA celebrity Michael Jordan endorsed a brand
new pair of Nike sneakers called Air Jordans.
kyrie 3 commented on 17-Sep-2018 03:11 AM
Nike's first self-designed and crafted footwear included waffle soles that made the
sneakers lighter than traditional athletic footwear.
kyrie 3 commented on 17-Sep-2018 03:13 AM
Actually, sporting the right pair of shoes may help cut back stress and strain in your knees and again.

Post a Comment




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