A Twitter thread about innovation and data.

Doug Garnett:

« Demographics are least important…

For almost all innovation I’ve seen, qualitative work is where we need to start. Question is:  Who are our customers? Where “who” means as people — not as stats. The stats come later.

Let’s equate it to knowing people. If you know Sarah and someone says “who is Sarah” you will talk about the person. If they talk to a database, they get “38, 2 kids, married, works at xxx, college educated, earns $100K”. Where do you learn most about “Sarah”? »


John W Lewis:

« Exactly (if I understand you correctly)! Without some understanding of the subject area and, e.g. cause and effect relationships, as the basis for a model of the subject, we have no way to process the data meaningfully. »


Doug Garnett:

« And more. Data is “secondary research”. Almost always. So it was collected for another purpose then re-focused on this question. That means massive assumptions hidden in it. Also, data has no understanding of “why” a choice is made. To innovate, we need to know “why”. »

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