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How Thick Data Can Unleash the True Power of Big Data

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All that Data which is measurable may not be qualitative. While Big Data helps us find answers to well-defined questions, Thick Data connects the dots and gives us a more realistic picture.

We have been hearing this for quite a few years that Big Data and Analytics are the next big waves. While these waves are already sweeping us over, we are missing out on the small things going for the big. Big Data has emerged to be remarkably useful when it comes to finding answers to well-defined questions and addressing phenomena that are well understood. What it fails to recognize is the complicacy of peoples’ lives, human connections, underlying emotions, changing cultural ecosystems, interesting stories, and other social ingredients.

For instance, it made big news when Nokia was acquired by Microsoft in 2013. While there could be many reasons behind Nokia’s downfall, one of the prominent reasons that Tricia Wang, a Global Tech Ethnographer describes is the overdependence on numbers. Sharing her story on Ethnography Matters, she mentioned how her recommendations to Nokia to revise their product development strategy did not receive enough attention as the sample size used for her study was considered too small in comparison to millions of …

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