Big Data is meaningless if you don’t understand your small data yet

Blog, Friday 20 October 2017

It is esti­mat­ed that more than half of organ­i­sa­tions fail to extract max­i­mum infor­ma­tion­al val­ue from their data (VSNG). Accord­ing to Gart­ner, and per­son­al expe­ri­ence, exter­nal and inter­nal data must be linked togeth­er in order to obtain the most valu­able infor­ma­tion. Yet when com­pa­nies attempt to do this, they often over­look vital infor­ma­tion thanks to an infor­ma­tion over­load’. Big Data is sim­ply too much data. It’s bet­ter to start out on your own end: make sure your inter­nal data is well-organ­ised before you attempt to bring in exter­nal data. Read on to find out how…

Garbage in = Garbage out
When companies are unable to glean as much valuable information from data as they hoped, one major cause is that they are unable to effectively sort their internal data or because it is not of sufficient quality. This is because when a company’s in-house data is bad, it will result in bad information as well. Companies in this situation often opt to purchase external (potentially Big) data, which then ultimately proves a poor fit for their particular organisation – meaning they still don’t get the results they wanted. In other words, it's not about how much data is collected, it’s whether you are collecting the right data. Client data collected internally holds a wealth of information, assuming it has been gathered and stored carefully and consistently. So, in reality, the acquisition of valuable information begins within the organisation itself.

Make sure you understand your small data before taking on Big Data
Even when companies have stored their data in such a way that valuable insights can be distilled from it, the company will need sufficient know-how to recognise these insights. In order to gain more in-depth insight into the client, and before an organisation should concern itself with external data, it's important that they understand their own small data. ‘Small data’ is defined as the data that helps map out the interests, needs and personal details of your clients. This small data is also the basis for arriving at client information that can be placed in a specific context and that carries a certain emotional value as well. Try asking yourself whether you know your client well enough, and how you can deliver true added value to that client. Often as not, we find that the answers to these questions are vague – even though they might easily have been gleaned from the internal small data.

New business opportunities?
Valuable small data is often enough already at our fingertips; all that’s left is to recognise it and interpret it correctly. When it comes to new business, the low-hanging fruit will be revealed when the internal client data is handled properly. It would be a shame to allow these opportunities to go to waste.

Angelo Tungga

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