Digital DNA: If your data could talk – mapping the data genome and its surprising secrets using data ethnography and behavioural science

This paper claims that a diverse set of digital footprints are not only useful for extracting valuable insights about individuals but can also be a panacea for traditional methodological limitations.


Traditionally, when we think of research, we reflect on qualitative and quantitative techniques such as interviews and surveys. These techniques are invaluable; for years they have been providing rich bilateral streams of data and insights. However, they also come with a wealth of biases, and can exhaust entire departmental budgets. Despite the ubiquity of these approaches, their application in gathering insights in the data-rich world remains limited. This has particularly been the case when it comes to the investigation of large-scale psychological and “wicked topics” investigations, which are usually hindered by the questionnaire- based nature of assessment and a...

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