5 Misconceptions about Personal
Data: Why we need a people-
centred approach
Abby Margolis, Claro Partners
From data-centric to people-centric
• Shift in thinking from Big Data, to Personal Data, and
from what is technologically ...
Every time we interact,
communicate, access,
share, recommend,
download and record,
we cast a digital
shadow of our
activi...
Businesses are
collecting and
stockpiling personal
data, convinced that
bigger is better; this is
resulting in a
big data ...
OLD DATA EXPERIENCES NEW DATA EXPERIENCES
Not just more data but new data experiences
Our research was grounded in the belief that we
need to start with the person rather than the data.
As ethnographers, we l...
Six month, global consortium investigating personal data experiences
Five misconceptions about personal
data
MISCONCEPTION #1
Personal data is
the new oil
Image:UCBluenoser|Flickr
REALITY:
My personal data is
most valuable to me!
Image:Foursquare
MISCONCEPTION #2
Personal data
is all about privacy
Image:tsallam|Flickr
REALITY:
People want to benefit
from their data - not hide
it away - but they need
control, trust and
transparency
Image:t...
MISCONCEPTION #3
The value of
personal data is
in its sale
Image:shutterstock
REALITY:
The personal data
economy is an
experience economy
MISCONCEPTION #4
Personal data is
for data scientists
REALITY:
Personal data
empowers people
Image:Fitbit
MISCONCEPTION #5
Personal data
is big data
Image:Visualparadox
REALITY:
The personal data
economy is small data
Image:iStock
Data-centric
view
People-
centric view
1. Start with the person, not the data
2. Become observers of the role data plays in people’s lives
3. Identify unmet func...
Thank you
Abby Margolis | Research Director
Abby.margolis @claropartners.com
+34 674 061 648 (m)
abbymargolis (skype)
@cla...
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Five Misconceptions about Personal Data: Why we need a people-centred approach to Big Data

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Five Misconceptions about Personal Data: Why we need a people-centred approach to Big Data is a paper presented at EPIC 2013 in London.
We produce vast amounts of data in our daily lives. Email, text, search, check-in, photos, payments – all these activities create a trail of digital exhaust. This personal data has been triumphantly declared a “new asset class” by the WEF and compared to oil as the world’s newest economic resource. This has sparked the big data boom, a frantic race to gather our personal data.

However, this gold rush obscures the real value of personal data, and forgets a fundamental rule of innovation: start with the person. Why has this basic principle been largely absent from our obsession with big data?

This paper draws on global ethnographic research with data-driven individuals, experts, and start-ups to address five common misconceptions about personal data. It concludes with a set of simple principles for ethnography to help create new value from personal data and to deliver that value back to people themselves.

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Five Misconceptions about Personal Data: Why we need a people-centred approach to Big Data

  1. 1. 5 Misconceptions about Personal Data: Why we need a people- centred approach Abby Margolis, Claro Partners
  2. 2. From data-centric to people-centric • Shift in thinking from Big Data, to Personal Data, and from what is technologically possible to what is of new benefit to individuals • Address five common misconceptions in the data conversation that don’t apply to Personal Data • Introduce some principles for ethnography to enrich perspectives and opportunities around Personal Data @claropartners #personaldata
  3. 3. Every time we interact, communicate, access, share, recommend, download and record, we cast a digital shadow of our activities Image:petilipois|Flickr
  4. 4. Businesses are collecting and stockpiling personal data, convinced that bigger is better; this is resulting in a big data boom Image:GloalAccessPoint
  5. 5. OLD DATA EXPERIENCES NEW DATA EXPERIENCES Not just more data but new data experiences
  6. 6. Our research was grounded in the belief that we need to start with the person rather than the data. As ethnographers, we looked not at the data, but at human behaviour to see what it could tell us about the role of data in our everyday lives.
  7. 7. Six month, global consortium investigating personal data experiences
  8. 8. Five misconceptions about personal data
  9. 9. MISCONCEPTION #1 Personal data is the new oil Image:UCBluenoser|Flickr
  10. 10. REALITY: My personal data is most valuable to me! Image:Foursquare
  11. 11. MISCONCEPTION #2 Personal data is all about privacy Image:tsallam|Flickr
  12. 12. REALITY: People want to benefit from their data - not hide it away - but they need control, trust and transparency Image:tsallam|Flickr
  13. 13. MISCONCEPTION #3 The value of personal data is in its sale Image:shutterstock
  14. 14. REALITY: The personal data economy is an experience economy
  15. 15. MISCONCEPTION #4 Personal data is for data scientists
  16. 16. REALITY: Personal data empowers people Image:Fitbit
  17. 17. MISCONCEPTION #5 Personal data is big data Image:Visualparadox
  18. 18. REALITY: The personal data economy is small data Image:iStock
  19. 19. Data-centric view People- centric view
  20. 20. 1. Start with the person, not the data 2. Become observers of the role data plays in people’s lives 3. Identify unmet functional and emotional needs 4. Create tools 5. Design the whole user experience Five key principles for ethnography to help promote a people centric approach to personal data
  21. 21. Thank you Abby Margolis | Research Director Abby.margolis @claropartners.com +34 674 061 648 (m) abbymargolis (skype) @claropartners

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