The big data takes advantage of the computing power and analysis of machines for detecting patterns and valuable information. However, the truth is often in the details and can only be detected by direct human observation. This is the concept of small data.
The small data allows us to reach important conclusions as those of the study by Kelton Global on Facebook Messenger, which revealed that 71% of users on messaging applications believe that simplicity is the most important thing.
In this same panorama, Martin Lindstrom affirms that " if the 100 best innovations of our time are taken, perhaps 60% or 65% of them are really based on small data ".
What does small data refer to?
One way to define small data is by comparing it to big data. The latter is defined based on the so-called three "Vs." big data:
• data volume
• data generation velocity
• variety of data formats
The small data, on the other hand, has to do with small concrete details extracted through direct observation of customers. In fact, according to a Campaigner survey, two-thirds of merchants believe that smaller, more segmented data provides a better perspective for marketing.
This is why it is necessary to know customers better, directly, and individually. This applies both in online and offline environments since the data can be obtained from any context.
Benefits of small data
Research conducted by EY and Nimbus Ninety states that 81% of managers are aware of the importance of their companies being data-driven and making important decisions based on data.
In this sense, small data is based on the concept of "presence." This concept invites companies to forget machines for a moment to focus on the real environment. That is, to make a presence in front of customers.
By adopting this approach, small data is able to offer brands the following benefits:
• Decision making based on consumer preferences
• Improvement of industrial processes
• Adaptation of products and services according to local particularities
• Discovery of new niche markets
• More effective adaptation of prices according to demand
• Enrichment in the design of customer profiles
• Contribution to build what is known as social CRM
Due to all these benefits, it is not in vain that, according to Gartner projections, the data analytics market reaches a value of 20 billion dollars in the short term.
How to implement small data in your company?
Implementing small data is relatively straightforward and does not require advanced knowledge or specialized profiles like data scientists. However, for an excellent technique to be employed, you should meet with a top data science company.
On the other hand, it is about collecting data that is around, and that is not difficult to extract. This, through sources such as social networks or web analytics. In addition, its implementation is economical since it does not require large investments in technology.
To apply the small data technique in a company, you must:
• Implement mechanisms so that clients can provide personalized feedback and opinions.
• Adapt the use of web analytics tools focusing on specific clients.
• Employ active listening techniques and dialogue with clients on social networks.
• Direct observation: visit the client, observe their behavior, and ask questions.
• Conduct focus group sessions with selected clients, in which to extract revealing details.
• Analyze the competition with available data such as its offer of products and services.
All this with the aim of getting to know customers better and guiding processes and strategies. As well as designing products and services in a personalized way. As you can see, the idea of "small data "is crucial for marketing success.
Small data vs. big data: what is the best option?
The small data is not intended to replace the big data and vice versa. Well, these are two different and complementary approaches.
If a brand is capable of implementing both techniques, then it will achieve both of the benefits:
• Analyze large amounts of data to detect patterns
• And get concrete details that add deep insights about customers
However, for small companies that cannot afford the technologies or specialized personnel related to big data, then you may well apply small data to gain in-depth knowledge of your market.
Either way, according to a study by Bain & Company, managers can make decisions five times faster if they rely on data analysis.