Tag Archives: big data

What Is Little Data and Why Is This a Thing?

The tech industry is obsessed with creating, using and understanding the next big, complex and exciting devices and solutions. Whether they are focused on the internet of things (IoT), advanced machine learning or big data, it is easy to assume that bigger is certainly better. Despite the obvious benefits of big data, Forbes explains that big data on its own is essentially useless without little data.

What’s little data?

little data is a thingBy most definitions, little data are the small pieces of information, such as traditional performance metrics, that illuminate a broader topic. Essentially, little data makes big data more digestible and accessible. For example, an organization may wish to create advertising and marketing strategies based on customer data. However, without having access to the small pieces, such as customer satisfaction, profit margins, social media engagement and more, the company will never be able to truly know if its efforts are paying off.

It’s always been a thing

Your company is collecting little data now. In fact, most companies have been collecting little data for a wile and doing it well. Your web traffic, sales information, number of leads — this is all little data. It’s just that little data is a new buzzword describing it.

Big data depends on little data and vice versa – you simply cannot have one without the other. While big data will paint a broad picture about a specific situation or business pattern, the little data will fill in the gaps and blanks in the form of key performance indicators. These key performance indicators (KPIs) can make gathering data more personal, moving beyond the big picture and targeting specific individuals or groups.

The crucial element of being successful when analyzing your little data is ensuring that you establish the best KPIs for your business. After all, if you are focused on gathering and examining the wrong sets of data – big or small – it is not likely you will achieve the results you want. And seeing things from the micro and macro level are both helpful. If your revenue is down, but leads are up then you know something’s wrong with your leads or the sales process. If customer satisfaction scores are up, but customer retention is down, it may mean you want to take a closer look at the numbers. Or it could be pricing.

When little and big data are in concert, you can find out a lot about your business.

4 Metrics IT Should Measure

Metrics are all the buzz today – even in IT. People want to see the hard numbers and the impact their decisions have on the rest of the company. For IT professionals, if you want to boost the success of your department, you need to consider what metrics could work in your favor. But first, what actually determines the success of IT?

CIO explains the five key areas that determine IT success are:

  • Operational excellence: Running productive systems.
  • Solution delivery excellence: Delivery new or better functionality.
  • Organizational excellence: Having an engaged workforce.
  • Financial excellence: Keeping costs in line.
  • Transformational excellence: Leveraging the capabilities of new technology.

IT metricsNow, metrics play an integral role in maintaining this road to IT excellence. So what metrics does your department need to measure? Here are our top three:

1. Average time spent on critical/high-support issues

It’s important to know how long your people are working on these escalated issues. This way, you’ll begin recognizing patterns to know much much time and resources to devote to continual problems or certain projects.

2. Training

If you run a big staff or are based out of multiple locations, you’ll want to keep track of just how much time you’re devoting to training your people. Are there better ways to handle this training, from adding headcount to providing tools even like Lynda training now on LinkedIn.

Similar, how much time is spent training individuals from the IT Support Center is important to know. There may be more efficient ways to handle training, from conducting actual user training that all employees have to take to introducing a better ticketing system.

3. Measurements of usage

While this one might seem more obvious, you do want to ensure you’re tracking what you’re customers are doing. If you’re a software company, how many times people are using the systems and when they’re using them. If you’re not a software company, things like purchasing or even general website usage will help. This even means social media channels. There are listening opportunities to see whether people have positive or negative comments using Mention and other tools. This even includes usability with tools like UserTesting.com.

Knowing what your customers are using, when they’re using it and how they’re using it as well as what they’re saying will help your company, no matter what, improve.

As part of usage, there’s satisfaction. For Support Centers, receiving positive or negative feedback may inform how you handle things and what new procedures you introduce.

4. System up-time

If you notice recurring outages, it’s probably a no-brainer: something’s wrong. But it’s not just outages but up-time that people care about. This gives a more accurate view into the health of your overall data center, website and systems your company maintains including software.


Overtime, this information will provide insight into trends, which point to problems and opportunities. For example, if customer usage is lowest on Sunday night — that might be a good time to conduct maintenance. If system up-time always dips at midnight, maybe there’s a rogue task running that’s sucking up system resources that could be killed.

Also even though customer data is useful, different people want different things. Reports should meet the needs of the people requesting them. For example, marketing professionals care about conversions on the website and whether that’s due to organic or paid traffic. They need one set of information. On the website, your Web team will want to know uptime and general performance. That’s another set of metrics. Sales may want to see how many people are hitting the “Contact Us” page and how many people are requesting demos … from the website. That’s yet another.

Need ideas on better communication on how to collect those metrics?

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What’s Big Data? Will It Get Bigger?

What in the world is big data and just how BIG is it? That’s a question a lot of people are wondering, and not just the IBMs and data analyzer companies.

What is big data?

Big data refers to large amounts of structured and unstructured data that people can analyze and use to make better decisions. From helping scientists learn more about our DNA to city officials getting information about traffic patterns, big data is changing the way people view and interpret data as a whole.

What’s the big deal about big data?

brainstormBig data is typically defined in terms of the 3 V’s, which are: the variety of data, the significant volume of data and the velocity in which the data must be processed, according to TechTarget.

While the term does not explicitly refer to a specific quantity of information, it takes too much time and costs too many resources to load into a traditional database for easy analysis.

In today’s competitive marketplace, companies should attempt to understand what big data means to them, analyzing that data. They can decide how they can leverage it and the general potential of data-driven operations and marketing efforts.

For example, the big data that means that most to a company should be triggered to company health – revenue and revenue potential and operating costs. In addition, companies can see data trends that relate to their specific businesses. For example, software companies that provide SaaS (software as a service) can see peak usage times.

How can it get even bigger?

The short answer is: yes.

big dataBig data is opening up possibilities that were never before dreamed about. In the near future, we may live in a world where big data will shape each area of society in meaningful and lasting ways.

Envision living in a city where the city planners can easily access vital information on traffic patterns, driver preferences and more to know where to build roads or where to widen them to welcome the influx of cars on the streets. Or where physicians and scientific researchers can use big data to identify disease patterns and develop vaccines to cure illnesses. From having your phone send you text reminders about when to head out to make your appointment, to curing cancer, the possibilities big data – and fast analysis of big data – present are far reaching.

Big data, even now, is learning a lot about us

Social media platforms, like Facebook, are enabling deep learning about people from health to trending attitudes, all from users willingly giving their information over.

Think about it. You tell social media what movies and shows you like. You tell it what’s wrong or right with you. You share data about your family, your kids, etc. In the realm of big data, all of this information can be processed to make some interesting analysis — from how certain movies are doing to our very psychology like what makes us (as humans and individually) tick.

Now expand this to how we use just about every device from refrigerators to coffee machines. Big data may help us collaborate better and find the most perfect content.

As you can imagine, people concerned about privacy may be more alarmed at the amount of data we’re willingly sharing as well as what will be done with it. Also as you can imagine, this information is valuable to researchers and scientists, too, who have an unbiased glimpse to make our lives better.

What do you think big data will do?

We’d love to read your thoughts below.