UC Berkeley School of Information

Data Science in Mixed-Methods Research (Judd Antin and Andrew Fiore, Facebook)

Jan. 9, 2015

The data science toolkit encompasses powerful approaches for detecting and clarifying patterns in social or behavioral data. But when it comes to the interpretation of those patterns, it sometimes falls short — the data may convey “what” and “how much” with great precision, but it is often silent on “why” and “how.” Complementary research methods can fill in these gaps and paint a fuller picture of the phenomena at hand. At Facebook, we combine data science with qualitative and quantitative research, often iteratively, to gain a deeper understanding not just of what people are doing on Facebook, but why and how. Judd Antin UX Research Manager Facebook Judd Antin is a UX Research Manager at Facebook, where he focuses on bring the theories and practices of social psychology, social computing, and HCI to bear to improve Facebook’s products. Judd and his team employ methods that range from ethnographic fieldwork to big data analysis to understand products like News Feed, Ads, Photos, and Groups. In 2011, Judd was named one of MIT Technology Reviews Top Innovators Under 35 (TR35). Judd holds a Ph.D. from the UC Berkeley School of Information, where his research focused on collective action, social dilemmas, and incentive systems in online collaboration. Judd also holds an MA in Applied Anthropology from the University of Maryland College Park, and a BA in Anthropology from Johns Hopkins University. Andrew T. Fiore Growth Research Team Lead Facebook Andrew T. Fiore leads Facebook’s Growth Research Team, including a program of research to understand and measure the benefits, risks, and barriers to adoption of information and communication technologies in emerging markets. Previously, as a member of the data science team at Facebook, he studied social dynamics in online groups. His past research at UC Berkeley, the MIT Media Lab, and Microsoft Research focused on the design and analysis of behavior in computer-mediated communication systems, including usenet newsgroups and online dating sites. He holds a Ph.D. from the UC Berkeley School of Information, as well as an M.A. in statistics from UC Berkeley, an M.S. in media arts and sciences from MIT, and a B.A. from Cornell University.

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