Researcher from IDEAFUND conducted a research presentation about ‘Fieldwork on Data’

On October 18th 2020, Naoko Okawachi, founder & CEO of IDEAFUND Co., Ltd. conducted a research presentation about ‘Fieldwork on Data’, at the annual conference of J-MAC.

Big data unraveled in cultural anthropology:
Discovery of “the elderly becoming like bachelors” by fieldwork of action log
Naoko Okawachi
Mathematical and statistical approaches are the mainstream for utilizing big data, but in this research, we will explore a new methodology that applies anthropological fieldwork. We report the methodology and the insights gained from their application.
Collection of qualitative data in cultural anthropology is usually possible only through fieldwork that presupposes simultaneity with informants. On the other hand, in this study, we attempted anthropological fieldwork on big data by using the huge behavior log of consumers as a field.
There are three types of data we used:
1) consumer attribute data
2) purchase history data
3) media contact history data
For one year’s worth of these data, fieldwork was conducted in the same way as cultural anthropologists live with informants for one year and unraveled their lifestyles and values.
As a result, we found people who live a life that is different from the traditional image of the elderly. We call them “the elderly becoming like bachelors”. They have high Internet literacy and coupon-sensitivity (use of several payment services according to the coupons rate) and prioritize their hobbies and stay up late or eat snacks without cooking.


IDEAFUND is a professional research company located in Tokyo. Since its foundation in 2018, its founder Naoko and her colleagues have applied the methodology of cultural anthropology to market/consumer research. By doing so, they have always tried to understand the wholeness of consumers/users and to find some keys to innovation.

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