How Xerox Uses Analytics, Big Data and Ethnography To Help Government Solve "Big Problems" | Marketing Research |

Xerox and Los Angeles intend to decrease road congestion by implementing a dynamic pricing model for parking spots. They hypothesize that by increasing the price of high-demand spaces while simultaneously lowering the price of low-demand spaces, road congestion will decrease. This article discusses how they will prove this hypothesis and the relationship between two different yet important data sets, which are fast growing "big data" and the classic consumer ethnography.  

According to Ken and David, the relationship between "big data" analytics and ethnography is symbiotic. They explain that by using ethnography to give a human context to raw data, they can properly address human problems. A key example they gave was, ethnographers taking video anecdotes of actual people struggling with parking signage and thus willing to park in unfavourable areas.  This to me outlined certain key statistics tied to parking behaviour that drove home their hypothesis. The big insight here is that ethnography documents how things really work and tie together data that would otherwise not be related. Understanding the human element through consumer ethnography allows marketers and researchers alike to identify the right problems and approach them in the right way.