Big data has been one of the hottest buzzwords in business for the last seven years or so. The reason is that big data holds big potential. Also, big data is sexy – it’s mysterious and complex. You have probably noticed that digital ads are becoming more and more tailored to fit your buying habits – that’s big data. Computers are slowly developing the capability to describe and categorize images without any human input… they are starting to see – that’s big data. Cars are driving themselves – again, that’s big data.
To give it a more palpable definition, big data refers to data sets that are so large and sometimes so unstructured that traditional data processing software is unable to deal with it. When companies are able to collect big data, that data needs to be stored in big places; this costs big money. Also, it is very difficult to mine big data; therefore the big data set is partially explored and leveraged by the organization which owns it. Companies typically try to view the data with visualization software which can also be quite expensive and difficult to use.
I must mention that I know data scientists who work tirelessly with big data. They are some of the smartest and creative people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. What they can do with big data is truly heroic and has/will change the course of history.
Small Data, Huge Impact
If a company employs 500 people or less, it is considered to be a “small business.” Ninety-nine percent of the businesses in the United States can be classified as small businesses. Digging deeper, 79% of small businesses have only one employee; that’s right.
These businesses are called “non-employers” and they make up the largest segment of businesses in the United States. These shops are small and their data is small. As the number of employees in a firm increases, the number of existing firm trickles down. Small businesses of all sizes are harnessing small data. The good news is that small data can be harvested – meaning it can be analyzed using traditional processing software (EXCEL, SPSS, SAS). Small data is not exactly sexy like big data is, but it is useful… and well, that’s even better for businesses.
Show Me the Data!
Are you ready to start using whatever data you have to uncover knowledge and make better decisions? First, you need to tap into your data. Here are some sources of data that you can tap into:
If you would like to delve into data analytics on your own, I recommend using IBM's SPSS data analytics software. There are great tutorials online. A basic understanding of business statistics and analytics is necessary to get the maximum value from this software suite.
If you need help in this analytical effort, our team would be happy to work side-by-side with yours. Our team is highly educated with years of experience in the field as well as in academia. We can help you collect data, analyze data and even generate recommendations using the knowledge found deep within the numbers. We are talking deeper than graphs and charts. Have a hunch about your business and looking for an answer? We can even collect data that will validate or deny that hunch with 95% confidence. Finally, we never leave you in the dark. All findings will be clearly reported and presented to your team so that takeaways are clear and the impact is made.
Reece Theriot, MBA
“We were put on this Earth to love; by loving, we serve others; by serving others, we create value; by creating value, we form successful ventures; by forming successful ventures we contribute to the advancement of Creation which pleases the Creator.”