The more we work with quantitative data-sets, the more we see the truth of the old saying, "Garbage in, garbage out." As cultures, economies and technologies change, our ideas about demographic cohorts and our ability to predict what they will want, and how they will behave, are being challenged in profound ways. We can no longer extrapolate from simplistic data; but our mental models for understanding what's happening in people's lives are clearly inadequate for building new, more sophisticated models.
In other words, what used to work isn't working anymore.
We have the tools to improve these mental model and ultimately to identify new data points with better predictive value.
These tools are rooted in understanding and insight developed through authentic relationships, observation and dialogue.
We have to actually meet people where they live, work, relax and play if we want to understand what they think, feel, say and do.
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