“Thick data” sees the market future when big data can’t

“Customers are really the most unpredictable, the most unknown, and the most difficult-to-quantify thing for any business,” said Tricia Wang, ethnographer and co-founder of Sudden Compass, in an interview during the IBM Data Science for All event in NYC. She spoke with Dave Vellante and John Walls, co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio

It’s crucial to marry big data with :thick data” which is difficult to quantify but may hone in closer to consumers, according to Wang. Ye olde marketing data variables like education and income are so-so predictors of consumer behavior.

:The new networked customer of today has multiple identities and is better understood when in relationship to other people,” Wang said. Quantitative data science is indispensable for sca; however, thick data takes individual consumers’ temperature more precisely and offers depth. That’s why you need to combine both to be able to make effective decisions,” she added.