In a recent salesforce.com blog post written by Sean Gordon, CEO of Intelliverse, he made the case that small data can often prove to be more valuable than its more popular counterpart for sales organizations. I recommend that you read the post yourself but here is a synopsis of the five reasons why he says that small data is better:
- Small Data is personal; Big Data is impersonal – Small data can hone in on targeted members and decipher the right behavior that leads to increased performance.
- Small Data is actionable; Big Data is exciting – Small data is much easier to interpret and can immediately be used by sales managers or team members to make changes—fast.
- Small Data is tailored; Big Data is broad – Small data focuses more on the outcome that the data can produce.
- Small Data is real-time; Big Data is historic – Small data provides insights to uncover sales statistics and trends immediately.
- Small Data is pushed to you; Big Data must be pulled – Small data allows for targeted and strategic reports to automatically get pushed to sales teams.
From an M2M perspective, we are seeing a similar push towards small data. Organizations do not just want to collect, process and store billions of pieces of information. Instead they would rather just have the meaningful changes that they can turn into actionable events or process improvement (Big Process). Of course, that is where it gets tricky. Determining what data is meaningful heavily relies on skilled people to be able to articulate what these important events are. And once you identify the meaningful events, converting them into actionable next steps requires another level of skills. So while Big Data is important, getting to Small Data may just be the bigger step.