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Business + IT Insights

Banish The Big Data Mentality: Making Small Data Work For You

Posted by Dave Lazor on Thu, Apr 24, 2014

big-data“Big data” is a buzzword for the mass amounts of information that businesses obtain from their customers in order to gain a deeper, more insightful understanding of them. Utilizing big data technology appears to be the ideal business approach, as it offers the deeper-level information that companies rely on to connect with their customers. But, although helpful in certain aspects of business, big data can be just a little too big.

Big Data: The 3 Key Characteristics

Big data is defined by three shared qualities:

  • Large volumes of data
  • High velocity of data
  • Wide variety of data

Big data is managed by a very complex infrastructure, one that has the capacity to store such massive amounts of data. Analysts are constantly looking for trends in this data, as well as ways to improve business processes based on those trends.

Exploring The Buzz On “Big Data”

Big data receives quite the hype in the business world, but it’s not the all-encompassing solution media sources have carved it out to be. There is an important, underlying component to data analysis that big data fails to fulfill. 

Big Data’s Biggest Setback

The hypotheses we form, the in-depth experiments we conduct, the valuable conclusions we draw from narrow, concentrated tactics … these are the meatier (and much more beneficial) elements of data analysis, and they are completely ineffective when used with big data. This setback basically boils down to one heavily significant fact: Big data doesn’t answer the why.

Why Bigger Doesn’t Mean Better

“There’s a common misconception that throwing more data at a problem makes it easier to solve.” 

Channeling their eager, entrepreneurial spirits, many business owners tend to jump right into big data when it comes to problem solving. But the most common reason big data initiatives fail is because companies don’t analyze smaller data first. Companies spend money on big data warehouses and big data analytics but don’t hire the people who understand it and use it effectively for future improvement.

Starting Small

Before you focus all your energy (and budget) on big data, take a look at the information you currently have and what insights you’ve gained from it. Better yet, have you gained any insights from it? The key to using data successfully is evidence-based decision making.

Every business is different, but there are several common ways that businesses retrieve and receive information about their customers, prospects and employees, such as CRM tools and reports, social media monitoring, quarterly reviews for your employees, etc. This is the kind of information you should be focusing on in order to manage your existing data effectively. 

Research has shown that too much information leads to heightened anxiety and stress. Big data may seem like the perfect solution for companies to expand their customer database, but, as with any idea deemed “perfect,” there usually exists underlying flaws. Stick with a small data mentality until you’re 100% ready for the big changes required of big data.

Learn more about innovative technology solutions customized for your business growth and flexibility by scheduling a free consultation with a PointMan™.

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Tags: Business Growth, business technology, IT Strategy

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