Memories of the future (2) living off the exhaust

Posted by on Jan 3, 2010 in Market Research, Web/Tech | One Comment

One of the ideas that I've bumped into again and again this last year in different forms is that the exhaust data is where the juice lies.

For example for too long, traditional market researchers have indulged themselves in a methodological arms race which presumes that new data is almost always the answer, rather than find new ways to analyse the datasets they already have.

For users and vendors alike the truth is the same – rather than look at existing datasets afresh or rethink how we manipulate them to see what we can glean, most of us instinctively rush to collect new – fresh – stuff.  Which is a shame because – given the right kind of analytic curiousity – we can all learn a lot from examining the "free stuff" that's all around us, using the kind of  [See for example the paper John Kearon and I wrote this summer Download BrainJuicer Paper – Me-to-We Research]

Also, if you're going to be at MRS this March, I'm pulling together a bunch of smart social scientists to share their [Darwin-based] analytic tools for understanding mass behaviour. Download Jan 8pp prog_low res-1 And – if there's enough interest – we'll organise something separate around the time to explore the subject in detail.

Equally, I've been struck how people like David Bausola and The Kaiser are experimenting with putting the "hosepipe" of exhaust data that e.g. Social Media creates to good use in for creative and entertainment purposes. And – as will be revealed in due course – for other purposes, too…

Think about it in terms of sustainability: rather than rush to new data or fancy tools, what can you do with the exhaust? With the stuff that everyone else (including you & me) throws away?

1 Comment

  1. James Cherkoff
    January 4, 2010

    The tricky part is moving away from the reassuring, grand planning environment into one where you know who the customer is – because you can smell him. It’s The Cathedral And The Bazaar all over. In the networked world data isn’t an extrapolation or a sample – it’s behaviour. There’s no need to second guess the market when you can just wander around it.