Small is big: when size does not matter
The hunt for data is on. In order to position themselves adequately in the Digital Revolution, companies think, eat and drink Big Data. But what about Small Data? Does the smaller brother have no use anymore? Do gigabytes of information have irremediably relegated a smaller, immediately usable and scalable intelligence to obsolescence? Understanding data and how it influences business strategy is a straight-up necessity in today’s world, and chances are the modus operandi related to gathering, analyzing and exploiting data is quite blurry. Big data is a common topic of discussion but when was the last time you thought about small data?
What is the small data? And how does it compare to big data?
It is everywhere. In fact, everyone generates small data: each time we log into social media, use search engines or click on ads. Social media alone offers considerable insight regarding buyer decisions and customer lifecycle, based on small data sets. It is data small enough (in terms of volume, format & velocity) for human comprehension. Depending on your company’s size and objectives, big may not always be relevant: it could mean very detailed statistics, daily transactions collected, as well as machine data. It can amount to data that is interrelated, complex and difficult to assimilate.
We can consider big data as raw data in this sense. It is information your business can use, but it requires some polishing first and the amount of information itself makes it difficult. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use big data; it simply means you’ll need to organize it properly before you can turn it into something more valuable. If big data is complex, does that make small data easier to tackle? In a sense, yes. It is slightly easier to comprehend and can be straightforwardly translated as valuable insights. From another angle, working with it requires relevant tools and a data-oriented mindset.
The benefits of using it
Martin Lindstrom writes, “Small data is the foundation for breakthrough ideas or completely new ways to turnaround brands.”
It immediately translates into business intelligence. The distance between small data its use to reach more audience that is relevant, is short: by nature, it is easily comprehensible by humans. It is actionable. This means you can use it to benefit your business almost immediately. More businesses are using it. In the age of digital transformation, data-driven marketing decisions are more and more valuable to companies. Using it can enable them to stay ahead regarding their business and marketing strategies. Big data remains important, but combining both can be the first step to reach consumers in a meaningful way. Consumers are on board, too. Even though they might not realize it, customers value small data as well. Whether they want the lowest price on plane tickets home for Christmas or enjoy the ease of personalized shopping experience from their favorite store, the people your organization wishes to target are already involved in marketing initiatives based on smaller data sets.
It focuses on the end-user. It’s no secret that focusing on this area is one of the best ways to understand what they want and need from your business. Small data is closer to the end user and focuses on an individual’s experience with your company. In that way, it helps to achieve a consumer-centric approach. It is simple data. Translating big data into small makes it more comprehensible for decision makers. Big data, because of its complexity, requires expert interpretation while small data does not have this issue. This means it can help your company reach its audience by helping stakeholders understand how to turn that data into a real strategy.
After downsizing, what to do?
Small data serves as the foundation necessary to implement big data efforts into business plans, so a core understanding of it is key before moving onto using big data. Small data enables companies to acquire a more detailed view of their business and how consumers interact with it. Smaller data sets are more accessible to less data-savvy individuals who may not be prepared to analyze larger data sets. Your business already collects tons of data sets. The tools used by your business teams (media monitoring, CRM or analytics platforms) aggregate information to enable easy review. If, for example, you want to produce customer profiles to identify key audiences for your market, you could export your CRM database. Depending on the company size and the state of its database, this export could focus only on a sample size of the customer database. Review the profiles of your current customers and prospects to understand key pieces of information about them.
Analyzing and gathering information identifies trends that emerge from your existing customers and provides insight on key demographics you should be targeting with your communications campaigns. Although confusing at the outset, data, like any other communications measurement tactic, provides deeper insight about business and communications decisions, allowing for better, data-driven decision-making. We, at Digital Plant, can assist you in optimizing your data in order to create more sales leads. Our expertise also includes digital campaigns (emailing, SEO, SEA, SMO), content & design. For more information, find us on our website: www.digitalplant-my.com.
Contact us today to talk about your future strategy!