What is Big Data?(And Does it Apply to Your Small Business?)

First off, let’s try to define what big data really is:

  • it focuses on the enormous amount of information available to businesses thanks to the social web.
  • it’s the most overused buzzword in business today.
  • its meaning gets lost in all the hoopla.

Those of us familiar with spreadsheets or basic databases might be tempted to think of big data as 10x that data, with many rows and columns. However, it’s a bit more complex than that. If a traditional database is a collection of data, then big data is a collection of collections of data.

But the real question is: Does it apply to your small business?

In my personal opinion, I’m not seeing it change anything. I’m not seeing a company go from not big to really important merely because they use big data. My best advice for small business owners is that you always start from core marketing principles – who is your audience? and what do they believe? If you can have an in-depth understanding of who they are, where they go and what they need, then, that will in many ways present the solution to you.

Small businesses should focus on collecting useful and relevant data in a logical way. In many cases, small businesses and even midsize companies can find insights in “small data” instead. In interacting with their best ten, one hundred or thousand customers and doing it in a very anticipated, personal and relevant way where those insights can drive their business forward.

The great thing is that the cost of data storage is dropping so fast that your small business should store all the useful data it can, right from day one.

 Question: What’s your opinion on BIG data?