Anyone in the tech world knows that there’s currently a lot of fuss surrounding big data, I hate this word. Not only because I have written about it so much but because it isn’t the right terminology. “Big” Nah, more like “infinite” or “raw.”
Despite the fact that it should be called something else, the importance of collecting it, analyzing it, and the application of your newly acquired big data knowledge is all conceived as tools. We do this to make smarter strategic decisions, reduce costs, target the right audiences, recalculate risk portfolios, optimize offerings, and overall run your business as efficiently as possible. With projected sales of data analytics tools hitting $187 billion in 2019, it’s apparent that this method of optimizing your business possibilities isn’t going away.
To get to the bottom of all this big data hype, we should probably uncover the root of what it actually is. Big data is essentially the massive amount of structured and unstructured information that overwhelms a business daily, whether it’s from business transactions, machine-to-machine data, or social network interactions. The idea is that the available data is so intricate and vast that standard data-analyzing technologies aren’t going to be adequate enough to handle them. Because it’s such a vague term replete with possibilities, you can boil it down to a simple concept: Big data is data that is drawn from various sources and imperative to making decisions that have a positive impacton a business.
While it’s great that in the last couple years big data has become the central focal point of businesses small and large, just being aware of it and storing it in the massive quantities it comes in doesn’t cut it for most businesses. The whole point is to be able to properly analyze the data and draw both practical and guiding conclusions from it in the hopes of bettering your business practices and capitalizing on trends, improving your outcomes for the future based on what you’ve learned. But for many businesses, there is a disconnect over which data is being analyzed, which data they think should be analyzed, and how they are conducting these analyses; many businesses lack the skills, tools or knowledge base to make use of big data properly, and suffer as a result. Recently, however, the tides have turned….
In contrast to big data, small data is a data set of very specific attributes that can be created by analyzing larger sets of data. It is often informative enough to find solutions to problems and achieve actionable results. In other words, small data brings people timely, meaningful insightsthat are organized in an accessible and understandable way, without requiring the use of expensive technological systems necessary to tackle big data.
Chief Analytics Officer Spring 2017
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