Master Small Data Before Big

I was in New York City last weekend. Reminded of the time when I was helping the Wall Street firms with their first forays into big data. Fast forward 10 years, and the larger financial institutions have figured out the value. But this does not mean that big data is ready for widespread success. There's still much more to be gained by mastering your small data.

A few successes have come out of costly R&D exercises. We are told that more data has been captured in the last two years than had been captured to that point. Tech industry marketing is naturally looking to seed a revolution around big data - think of all the storage and processing power that this would need.

But as you've heard me ask ad nauseum, what value does this have for you?

Sure, it's an enticing concept - capture everything and seek hidden gems in the patterns, trends and associations that lie within. Big data is massive, unstructured, and random. Insights are needles in the haystack, and extracting them is a science project. If you don't at least have a theory as to what you could gain from this, it's not a business initiative.

A much better focus - master the data you already have! Once you're comfortable that your business's data is captured accurately, reported efficiently, and analysed as thoroughly as you need to support your tactical and strategic decision making, you're ready to look at other data opportunities.

75% of businesses are not there yet. Are you?

My guidance? Keep an eye on big data technology by all means - it will become affordable for smaller businesses 10 years from now. But continue to focus on developing insights from the data you already have.

Have you Mastered Small Data?

Send me your answers to these questions so we can discuss the best way for your business to becomes a master of your data:

  1.     What data do you have?
  2.     Where is it?
  3.     How long does it take to close your monthly accounts?
  4.     How often do you see your non-financial data?
  5.     How many of your actions are guided by good data?
  6.     What additional data would help you take better actions?

You know where to send your answers to get my specific guidance -