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The Human Insights Missing From Big Data

Why do so many companies make bad decisions, even with access to unprecedented amounts of data? With stories from Nokia to Netflix to the oracles of ancient Greece, Tricia Wang demystifies big data and identifies its pitfalls, suggesting that we focus instead on “thick data” — precious, unquantifiable insights from actual people — to make the right business decisions and thrive in the unknown.

This talk was presented by Tricia Wang to a local audience at TEDxCambridge, an independent event. TED editors featured it among our selections on the home page.

With astronaut eyes and ethnographer curiosity, Tricia Wang helps corporations grow by discovering the unknown about their customers. She has taught global organizations how to identify new customers and markets hidden behind their data, amplified IDEO’s design thinking practice as an expert-in-residence, researched the social evolution of the Chinese internet, and written about the “elastic self,” an emergent form of interaction in a virtual world.

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