Everyone has “Big Data”

Just about everybody has heard the term “Big Data.” Most likely you have heard it in the context of Fortune 500 companies or the government scanning millions or billions of pieces of information looking for patterns. These amazing feats of data analysis require special software packages and tons of hardware; did I mention millions or billions of pieces of data? So “Big Data” is strictly for these multi-billion dollar companies and the government, right? Well…

Even relatively small sets of data can have patterns. Obviously the more data you have the more confident you can be about the pattern, but if you have been in business for a few years or working on starting a business, you probably have more data than you think. When we hear the word “data” a lot of us immediately think “computer.” Understandable, but wrong. data is simply a collection of “things.” It could be your memories of the last 10 customers you worked with. It could be the sales figures in your accounting system. It could be the collection of invoices in your filing cabinets where you scrawled notes about the customer. The issue for most of us isn’t that we don’t have data, but rather we haven’t yet taken the time to organize and examine the data we have to see the patterns that exist, or don’t know how to.

In fact, you most likely have access to some very powerful tools to organize and analyze data. I’ll introduce those in upcoming posts.

I love comments good and bad! Let me know what you think!