Skip to main content
Make Data Work
Oct 15–17, 2014 • New York, NY

Check Your Bias, Feed Your Empathy

Farrah Bostic (The Difference Engine)
9:05am–9:25am Wednesday, 10/15/2014
Data-Driven Business Day
Location: E 20/ E 21
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 2 ratings)
Slides:   1-PDF 

Amidst the fervor of big data, we forget that numbers don’t speak for themselves—people speak for them, and people speak through them. The interpretive layer of research, design, and business decision making matters, in some ways more than ever. We have more data, more frameworks, more hypotheses, more beliefs than ever before competing for the attentions of CEOs and product teams alike.

Yet we keep making the same assumptions about how best to really understand what people do, how they do it, why and why not; we think the process by which data is collected is more important than the way we think about that data; and we assume that people are on the one hand biased and on the other hand liars. In this talk, The Difference Engine’s Farrah Bostic will discuss stories of some organizations that have failed to genuinely listen and empathize with their customers—and a few who are doing it better.

Photo of Farrah Bostic

Farrah Bostic

The Difference Engine

Farrah Bostic is the founder of the Difference Engine, which she created based on her belief that deep understanding of customer needs is essential to growing businesses through great products and services. Farrah has honed her customer-centric insights as an advisor to some of the world’s most respected brands, including Apple, Microsoft, Disney, Samsung, and UPS. Previously, she began her career as a creative and then went on to be a strategist at leading agencies, including Wieden+Kennedy, TBWA\Chiat\Day, Mad Dogs & Englishmen, and Digitas, where she was group planning director and mobile strategy lead; she also ran innovation as a partner at Hall & Partners and developed digital tools for online qualitative research as SVP of consumer immersion at OTX.