“Let’s try to not make the same mistakes with this new resource that we have with the last ones,” Thorp warned in a conference speech he gave at PopTech earlier this year. To tread carefully with big data use we must truly understand what information is out there and how it's being used. “I think a lot about what it's like for the everyday person to be in this new world of data,” Thorp, co-creator of The Office for Creative Research, explains. And, as he points out, a big part of that is being cognizant of privacy concerns. The data that is being monetized is much more than numbers and stats—it's our conversations with friends, the photos and videos we upload, and the information we share via social media. At its very core, data is human interaction. It is crucial, Thorp stresses, that we humanize big data if we hope to avoid the perils of big oil.
Thanks to the increased prominence of the big data movement, Thorp is an in-demand speaker for events of all kinds. As the former Data Artist in Residence at The New York Times, Thorp has proven his aptitude for using the data that surrounds us to tell intriguing new stories about us as people. If you are interesting in hiring Jer Thorp as a speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency.