A Small View of Big Data

Large organizations are in love with big data and big analytics. In fact, back in March, IDC forecast that the big data technology and services market is expected to grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $16.9 billion in 2015, while it’s been reported that Deloitte estimates the size of the big data market at $1.3-$1.5 billion in 2012. Yet many employees aren’t equipped to harness these insights in their everyday decision making. And perhaps even worse, many executives and boards are still oriented towards an ‘inside’ data view vs customer or employee engagement type data that has increasing value as social and mobile networks take off, as Barry Libert argues.

Meanwhile, in the consumer world, brands like Amazon, Apple and Nike are shifting their own big data engines into high gear to deliver more personalized offers, recommendations and experiences that drive loyalty and sales.

What’s the connection? While companies (and computers!) like big data. Most people only need small data. Not only in terms of what is ‘good enough’ when it comes to the size of the data set. But also in terms of:

  1. Delivering simple, consumer-style, self-service apps and devices vs. complex toolkits,
  2. Providing context-driven, highly accurate answers and explanations (note I said answers, not data),
  3. Applying the latest Responsive Web Design and social marketing techniques to deliver a great experience across all Web-enabled devices and sharing channels.

Google may do this better than anyone currently when it comes to consumer applications. And on the business front, one can argue that Salesforce has done the best job to-date blending enterprise functionality with social insights and Web-style ease of use to create CRM solutions that your typical employee actually wants to use.

Of course other vendors, brands and investors can benefit from this small data approach, if they focus on creating simple, smart, responsive, socially aware tools and solutions.

Who is driving this small data revolution – even if they don’t know it yet?  In terms of tools, my list would start with the new generation of speciality social analytics and business intelligence providers like Bluefin Labs, GoodData, NetBase, QlikTech, and Visible Technologies.  In future posts I plan to explore these companies and other vendor categories, look at the role of rich media in both creating and delivering insights to the right audience, and highlight organizations like Nike who are leading the way in taking a small, localized view of big data.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts and welcome recommendations on who I should spotlight in future posts.

thanks for stopping by!

Allen

About these ads

2 comments

  1. Esteban Kolsky (@ekolsky)

    Allen,

    Nice post, interesting topic – great timing. I particularly like the concept of Small Data. Big Data is Big Hype from where i sit, and most people don’t need that much data to generate insights anyways…

    As for whom to target / showcase, I’d add Attensity to that list (FD: they are a client) who is doing very interesting things in this area.

    Esteban

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s