Real-World Education for Modern Marketers

Join Over 600,000 Marketing Professionals

Start here!
Text:  A A

Small Data Can Help Businesses Be More Human

by Jamie Tedford  |  
March 3, 2014

Investors put more than $3.6 billion into Big Data startups in 2013, but now Big Data is reaching the peak of its buzz. One reason may be that, though the promise of Big Data is huge, data sets are often unwieldy and unnecessary.

Big Data is all about volume. It requires powerful machines and seasoned data scientists to turn raw information into insights. Even at large companies, allocating the right resources and translating information between departments and disciplines can be tricky. And when insights are squeezed from the Big Data stone, how to put them to use is often unclear.

For example, in a recent study, 45% of organizations surveyed said they aren't even able to pinpoint the right audience for their messages most of the time. And only one-third of ad agencies are using big data to drive more than half of their marketing initiatives. Working with Big Data is challenging.

The antidote? Small data.

What Small Data Means for Marketers

Small data, in essence, recognizes the value of fewer, more relevant data points. The value of data shouldn't depend on its volume but on its quality and how it is analyzed, interpreted, and put to use. Small data is about focusing on real-use cases, collecting only the right type and amount of data, and applying it with maximum efficiency and contextual relevance.

For marketers, small data means specific, bounded data sets. It may mean working with a smaller sample size (perhaps a small slice of your customer base) or focusing only on the details that drive your business. Small data can help brands personalize, curate, and deliver more of what customers want in a timely fashion. Best of all, that kind of data is all around us, encompassing everything from weather to foot traffic to search and beyond.

Using small data as described above, brands can become more human. They can determine exactly what people want at a specific point in time and deliver it in a personalized and relevant manner.

Sign up for free to read the full article.Read the Full Article

Membership is required to access the full version of this how-to marketing article ... don't worry though, it's FREE!


We will never sell or rent your email address to anyone. We value your privacy. (We hate spam as much as you do.) See our privacy policy.

Sign in with one of your preferred accounts below:


Jamie Tedford is founder and CEO of Brand Networks, a provider of data-driven marketing solutions.

LinkedIn: Jamie Tedford

Twitter: @jamietedford

Rate this  

Overall rating

  • This has a 5 star rating
  • This has a 5 star rating
  • This has a 5 star rating
  • This has a 5 star rating
  • This has a 5 star rating
1 rating(s)

Add a Comment


  • by Marc Romano Fri Apr 1, 2016 via web

    Jamie, So much can be said about this piece you've written. I'll leave it at this. You're absolutely right on with your point of view on small data. Small data is the key to getting to knowing what really matters. And in most cases, it's the most effective way to inform decision making.

    The formula, the methodology to get to what really matters is not complex. It needs to be understood and experienced by people who are making key decisions and developing key strategies. It's the trump card.

    Marc Romano
    FirstPrinciple Group

MarketingProfs uses single
sign-on with Facebook, Twitter, Google and others to make subscribing and signing in easier for you. That's it, and nothing more! Rest assured that MarketingProfs: Your data is secure with MarketingProfs SocialSafe!