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What is Thick Data?

Thick Data is a combination of qualitative and quantitative data that provides insights into the daily lives of consumers. How are brands perceived? Why are they liked or disliked? What does the product stand for? Questions like these are answered with Thick Data analysis. Thick Data often leads to emotional and behavioral insights that brands can weave into their story for elevated impact. Thick Data Strategists gather this information by conducting online surveys, one-on-one customer interviews, via social media, using google analytics, ghost shopping, etc

How is it different from big data?

Big Data focuses on quantitative data with enormous data sets. It sifts through large data sets to identify specific patterns. It delivers numbers and relies on machine learning. If a pattern emerges, thick data tries and identifies the reasons for such a pattern.

We came across a Thick Data expert, Divya Ostwal and had a freewheeling conversation with her to understand all about Thick Data. Do read along.

Name: Divya Ostwaldivya_pic

Education: Advertising and Graphic Design
Current: Thick Data Strategist, KAN, Malmö, Sweden

Chief Creative Officer, VizioHub, Bangalore, India
Creative Director, Good Old, Malmö, Sweden

Passionate about: Narrative-photo-telling

As a Thick Data Strategist my role is a synthesis of logic and magic. I am a business-brand strategist, a google analyst, a conversion strategist and a story teller. I help brands understand their target audience and their behavior through qualitative and quantitative methods. I have worked in the digital advertising world for over a decade. I started my career in Bangalore, India and currently live in Malmö, Sweden.

During the years, I have worked with various verticals – service sectors, industrial, healthcare, hospitality, real estate, NGOs, educational institutes, tourism boards and lifestyle products amongst others. I spent the early years of my career as a strategic, visual designer and doubled up as marketer. During the later stint I cultivated the special ability to develop brands from insights; and strategy to concept to creative. I soon went on to become the first female Creative Director at a Malmö agency with a deep understanding for conversion centric creatives.

As a Thick Data strategist, I work extensively with a combination of qualitative findings and quantitative data patterns. I am a certified google analyst and enjoy data mining. In my projects, I believe it is a combination of user understanding and data patterns that create value for the brand.

My work process includes three phases: Attract – Engage – Convert
The red thread through this process being understanding consumers through qualitative methods and analyzing their behavior through quantities techniques.

Things I learnt on the job:

  • Applying logic to create magic
  • Taking equal responsibility for the client’s business goals
  • Collaborating to create success
  • Result driven communication
  • Agile planning and long-term focus

Career Options:

In my case, I could choose to be on the agency side and get a variety of brands to work with or alternatively work on the client side and focus on applying Thick Data to one brand.

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