Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are
In Everybody Lies—a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller—Seth Stephens-Davidowitz explores how Google searches open an unprecedented window into human behavior, choice, and decision-making (after all, we offer up 8 trillion GBs of data every day). In talks, this former Google data scientist draws on his research to reveal what we really think—about politics, race, economics, and much more.
“Seth Stephens-Davidowitz brings data analysis alive in a crisp, witty manner, providing a terrific introduction to how big data is shaping social science.”— Raj Chetty
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz has used the Internet to find groundbreaking insights into advertising, sports, sexuality, health, and many other aspects of 21st century life. His debut book Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are summarizes this research, arguing that much of what we thought from traditional, offline data sources has been dead wrong. A breakout success, Everybody Lies was named an Economist Best Book of the Year, a PBS NewsHour Book of the Year, an Entrepeneur Top Business Book, and an Amazon Best Book of the Year in Business and Leadership. It’s also a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. The Economist describes it as “a whirlwind tour of the modern human psyche using search data as its guide … The empirical findings in Everybody Lies are so intriguing that the book would be a page-turner even if it were structured as a mere laundry list.” It also includes a foreword from renowned psychologist Steven Pinker, who argues that Stephens-Davidowitz’s work “is about a whole new way of studying the mind,” includes discoveries that “turned upside-down” his understanding of human beings, and “points to a new path for social science in the 21st century.”
“Everybody Lies is a spirited and enthralling examination of the data of our lives. Drawing on a wide variety of revelatory sources, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz will make you cringe, chuckle, and wince at the people you thought we were.”— Christian Rudder
Stephens-Davidowitz is a contributing op-ed writer for The New York Times and a former visiting lecturer at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has developed a course about his research. A direct, succinct, and frequently humorous writer and innovation speaker, he’s presented his original research using big data as engaging lectures, scientific manuscripts, and popular data journalism. He has a PhD in economics from Harvard and a BA in Philosophy, Phi Beta Kappa, from Stanford.
“Seth gave an amazing talk at The Sohn Conference. It was both informative and funny, and afterwards, guests kept on telling me how much they got from Seth's talk. I highly recommend Seth any time you need a speaker to give cutting-edge insights, all while showing you a really good time.”Douglas Hirsch, Sohn Conference Co-founder and Co-chairman
“Seth’s research will take what you think you know about yourself and your peers, and flips it on its head. A compelling narrative for any marketer seeking to better understand the real wants and needs of their consumers.”Founder, L2
“Seth’s curious intellect leaves no subject unturned. His talk was both wonderfully educational and entertaining, backed by real data and thorough research.”Global Content Director, CLSA
“We couldn’t be happier with Seth’s presentation at our recent E-Summit. He was great to work with, focusing on those areas of his research we felt would resonate best with our colleagues. His delivery was sharp, engaging, and funny. He received a perfect five out of five stars from all attendees. We hope he is available next time we need an engaging speaker!”Senior Manager, Abbott
How can Google search terms help predict elections? How many white Americans voted against Obama simply because he was black? Are crime rates affected by violence in the media? Are boys secretly favored over girls amongst parents? For Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, the answer to these questions doesn’t lie in traditional polls, but in the billions of Google searches we make every day. Through his original research with search terms and big data, he’s discovered—and predicted—a number of counterintuitive insights, often that fly in the face of conventional wisdom. And in this surprising keynote, he lays out just what big data can reveal about our biases, anxieties, and hidden desires—and how Internet searches can provide answers to questions we’re often too afraid to ask. Though sometimes uncomfortable, these revelations are designed to help us understand the world with more accuracy. And they’re here to help us become smarter consumers of data, based on asking better questions. It’s about what people are actually doing, Stephens-Davidowitz argues—not what they say they want to do.
Many companies are unduly wary of big data—they see it as meaningless, or too abstract, or just too, well, big. But to Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, analyzing vast tracts of information—especially search results, clicks—can be vital to discovering counterintuitive insights about how consumers really behave. It’s not enough to ask customers what they want; in fact, what they reveal in feedback is often a distortion of their real beliefs. Instead, intelligent companies pay attention to measurable behavior—hits, decisions, purchases—to give consumers what they actually want (even if those ‘wants’ aren’t what they’re always willing to admit). In this talk, Stephens-Davidowitz maps out the secrets behind some of the Internet’s biggest businesses. He offers insights on rapid experimentation and cutting-edge advertising techniques. And, drawing on a host of case studies and hidden experiments, he shows how all the world’s a lab—if you know how to test it.