Futurizonte Editor’s Note: To the education achievement gap and to the wage and salary gap now we need to add yet a new gap: the data gap. And, if you are data poor, in the same way that if you don’t have money or education, your chances in life greatly diminish.
Original writer and publication date: Shelly Palmer – October 6, 2019
We’ve been running a data science experiment over the past few months. Our first goal was to compare and contrast the amount of data we could actively gather using a link to an online survey vs. the amount of data we could passively gather using our cookies and pixel-monitoring tools. Our second goal was to compare and contrast the value of self-reported data vs. observed behavioral data. Our final goal was to turn both data sets into actionable insights and analyze the results. We were shocked, but not surprised, by what we learned.
There are hundreds of data points that can be measured during an average visit to a website. Most are meaningless for the immediate task (although they may have immense value in aggregate over time). But the data doesn’t tell you everything. Clearly, “not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
Data Rich vs. Data Poor
Data-rich organizations such as Google, Facebook, Apple, and other tier one tech companies are purpose built to use every data point users generate. But data-poor organizations (basically everyone else) can’t even buy a seat at their poker table. The data poor must find creative ways to accumulate the information they need to compete.
Data Rich or Data Poor, It’s Nice to Have Data
In part one of our experiment, we examined cookie and pixel data we have been collecting for years to determine which readers gravitate toward which articles. This required no effort on our part. We tag every article we create. All of our articles are classified and categorized using a long-established proprietary taxonomy. We also dynamically classify and categorize our readers by exhibited behaviors. If you tend to read a lot of articles I write about AI, you are scored for the likelihood that you will respond to articles about AI and related topics. We have pretty good feedback loops set up, so the system is constantly attempting to improve your experience.
We may be data poor, but with regard to the behaviors of our readers, we have some useful information that helps us on our journey of continuous improvement.