What is small data? So glad you asked… Small data, in a nutshell, is a collection of what we call “hidden facts” in a person’s life. You can’t get these facts about your customers out of big data mined from places like Facebook or Google. That’s the beauty of it. It’s sort of like requiring you to become the Sherlock Holmes of your company in a caper where you go on a search for the little details that people don’t tell you about that really drive them to buy from you.

Gathering small data’s offline facts actually takes a human-to-human connection or investigation. You have to visit those in your target market in person, in their homes, in their workplaces, in the places where they play or they eat, where they meet, date and shop.

Big data is research about who you are online, your online persona and the analytics of your Google searches, posts and purchases. The problem is that who you are online isn’t the real you. No one can predict for sure whether you’ll click the “buy” button. Remember, it’s the business owner’s fascinating undertaking to look past the big data and sort through the small data to find out why their customers aspire to be something or someone just a little bit different than they actually are.

In Episode 90 of the Bright Planning Marketing Podcast, we talk about the distinctions between small data vs. big data. We give you some examples of small data, and we also give you some recommended reading on the topic. Join us to learn more!

Check out Martin Lindstrom’s book, Small Data for information as well.

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