The Illusion of Knowledge: Have We Confused Big Data for Thick Data?

With huge investments in big data and the computing power and manpower necessary to leverage it, companies are still struggling to see the returns of these decision-assisting technologies. Big data is alluring: all the knowledge and insight collected, collated, and easily understood in one place. One of the easiest traps to fall into when trying to predict trends is undervaluing unquantifiable information. Tricia Wang offers an alternative, ‘thick’ data, which compiles human experiences and counts in human emotions as a factor in collective knowledge. Academics in the humanities field of study have extensive experience working with qualitative data, coming in the form of stories, interviews, and experiences. In this session, Tricia aims to highlight how these unquantifiable stories are worth just as much as a mountain of quantifiable data points.