There is no denying that "Big Data" can be important to SEO and Digital Marketing. Whether it's looking at industry trends or monitoring the movement of illness across the globe, Big Data can have an impact on many things. Big Data is often available at your finger tips, for us Digital Marketing types there is Google Trends, a way to see what is trending in Google Search enabling us to target better terms. However, Big Data has it's issues; cost of collection, cost of data storage, cost of querying data, cost of managing and optimising data sets and of course the cost of expertise to service the data to it's fullest potential (to name just a few). Add to this potential legal issues with certain types of data and Big Data can suddenly be out of reach of almost any non-multinational organisation.
This said Small Data is within reach of almost every business today. Small Data takes many forms, from Website Analytics Data to Facebook Insights and user surveys (again to name only a few). Small Data is usually easy to collect, easy to secure, easy to manage and most importantly easy to utilise.
4 Reasons Small Data is Better Than Big Data
1 - Small Data is Highly Targeted Unlike large data, which is vast and impersonal. This means Small Data for individual online businesses can be the key to highlighting the good and bad areas of websites and calls to action. For me it is this data, often found in Google Analytics or other tools, can be used to directly increase conversions. Small Data, more than Big Data, is the key to ensuring websites are attracting high quality visitors and that those visitors convert.
2 - Small Data is Highly Actionable Having actionable data is the key to modern SEO and Digital Marketing. Small Data allows you direct insight into your users and audience, allowing you to take direct action and measure results efficiently. Big Data, on the other hand, is interesting to read and consider but in large part it will never be directly actionable for your business. Just because it works for other websites doesn't mean it will for yours, consider eBay, Amazon and Play UK - you will find the same products on each but they look nothing like each other.
3 - Small Data is Focused In general Small Data has a focused outcome required, it could be wanting to increase conversions from a single product page or finding which colour button works best. Big Data is a generalised data set, great for asking information of but as mentioned above it is less likely to be actionable. This focus is important, in modern SEO ROI is a key metric for any business, talking trends is great but personalised data and action is the key to success.
4 - Simple is Better Big Data must be pulled, this means you must question the data and manipulate it as you require. Small Data, on the other hand, is collected with focus and action in mind - this means there is less data points but it is easy to query and draw conclusions of. Further than this Big Data often gets complex and includes a ton of data points you simply don't need.
Read more about The Truth of Big Data.
What do you think? When you are looking to improve your website and marketing, which do you look at Big Data (trends) or Small Data (analytics)?