Much like the slow food revolution is the new and upcoming backlash against fast food; slow data is gaining ground as the answer to what fast data can not provide.
Fast data sources are quick polls, Google Analytics, an email campaign’s open rate, and this conference’s registration quantities. It is the data you can get in just a few key strokes. Like fast food, fast data is superficial, it tells us what is happening but not why it is happening.
Slow data is different. Slow data is the data we accumulate after talking to members at event after event after event, by job shadowing or in member phone interviews. Slow data can be found when we ask open ended questions, listen carefully to the answers and clarify the things we don’t understand. Slow data happens in one on one conversations; conversation after conversation after conversation. Slow data is nutrient rich because we learn not only what is happening but also why it is happening.
When you have seemingly unanswerable questions about members it is slow data that holds the answer.