Amidst the continued buzz surrounding “big data” and its promise to revolutionize business, it’s easy to overlook the “not so big” data you likely already have. Bigger isn’t always better. Sometimes, it’s just bigger.
Image Caption: A data analyst reviewing punch cards, the precursors to disk drives.
When the business media and big data thought leaders say “big data,” they are typically talking about storage sizes that are more aptly described to lay people as being measured in the amount of physical space actually required to store the data; i.e., server warehouses the size of football fields, rather then sizes that are just hard to open on your laptop. Big data analysis is important. However, the vast majority of marketing professionals and businesses are “small data” shops.
For “small data” organizations, the opportunities to use their data to make better business or marketing decisions aren’t always clear. Why? Because it often exists in small chunks spread out in a variety of different places. Think: a little in your CRM, a little in your email marketing platform, a little in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and whatever custom software your company uses. Don’t forget Google Analytics. Oh, then some on your laptop.
Just like the organizations that are increasingly being able to take advantage of their “big data” to make better decisions and gain a competitive advantage, small and medium size business can do the same with their “small data.” For example, wouldn’t it be great to match up your ExactTarget or Constant Contact databases with your sales reports? Or, wouldn’t it be nice match up your donor database with geolocation information from Google Analytics? It’s possible. You just need a “small data” plan.
If you’re a company or marketing organization that uses computers to get stuff done, you have small data. And, there are secrets inside it that are waiting to be shared.
The Golobish Group is a management consulting firm focused on increasing the performance of SMBs through disciplined use of business analytics, process and technology. Click here to contact the Golobish Group.