The Pitfalls on the Big Data Road

by hmd_webmaster, 19th March 2016

The nuances of micro-economies and micro-communities.

Big Data has been adorned with many definitions since 2001, where it was defined as data that grows in magnitude in three distinct dimensions, namely:

  • Volume: The amount of data created
  • Velocity: The rate at which it is created
  • Variety: The range of sources and different data types that become available

Other popular definitions include the commonly re-quoted: “Datasets so large that traditional processing applications are not sufficient.”

Suffice to say, big data and predictive analytics provide a rich library of information that is used today to manage election campaigns, track pharmaceuticals and other controlled substances from factory to patient, and even predict crime before it happens

Minority-ReportPrecrime: No longer science fiction. Image credit: 20th Century Fox

Corporations the world over are quickly boarding this wagon, with IBM predicting that the job market for data scientists will have swelled to 4.4 million last year.

But does it all matter to small businesses? When Mom and Pop open their fifth convenience store down on Scarborough Street, do they really need to care about big data?

The answer is yes and no. Making sense of big data, cutting it into manageable, context-specific chunks, creates actionable information that Mom and Pop can use to overcome their very specific business challenges. emphasizes the creation of meaningful reports from big data and customising their characteristics by extracting relevant information. This yields insight that applies to all tiers of business.

Small Data

These accessible, informative and actionable datasets are sometimes referred to as Small Data. They are essentially datasets extracted from big data sources and provide information on what is happening with a particular use case, rather than overload the viewer with the extraneous information that may or may not have been utilized to derive the result.

Small Data bridges the connection between people and the meaningful projections found in Big Data. Datafloq goes into detail on why Small Data can be a better investment of business resources and why it can save them time and money spent on certain types of technology.

Making it Work for you

Smaller, manageable datasets can then be used to create solutions for businesses that require targeted marketing campaigns with niche consumer groups, specific micro-geographies (especially in the Internet of Things) and even boost SEO and SEM results.

SEO and SEM gurus tend to prescribe standardised products for their clients by applying doctrinated methodologies that arbitrarily tick the boxes for a healthy SEO profile, but experienced data analysts can improve a business by uncovering insights that are hidden in the sea of Big Data.

So Mom and Pop may not experience any ROI from their digital marketing if their target audience isn’t connected to them via the cookie-cutter engagement channels that are lauded by so many digital marketing “specialists”. By simply opening to doors to the microcosms that comprise their target user group, they can truly exploit the data presented to them.

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