Got Customers? Use Big Data and Small Data to Understand Them Better

Your business is finally up on its feet and there is a steady inflow of revenue. You are probably considering expanding. Even if you are not, who would not like to understand their customers better just to improve their market standing? Sure, you could go about it the conventional way using research surveys. Or you could use big data and small data to get a better understanding of your customers and their psychology. You have probably heard these words, but what of they actually mean and how can you go about using them?

Small data is the data we get through conventional methods like research done on focus groupsboth qualitative and quantitative. All participants are aware that we are collecting information about them.
Big data is what we gather about the consumer without him knowing that we are getting data on him. Big data can be gathered through transactions, clicks, financial data etc. Big data is characterized through the 3 Vs- Volume, Velocity, and Variety. Let us see how each of the Vs will prove helpful for us.

Volume refers to the vast amount, often terabytes and petabytes of data. Velocity refers to the speed with which these are processed. Variety refers to structured data (date, time, GPS location, database) as well as unstructured data (i.e. text, image, voice, video). These 3 Vs coming together, that is fast processing of huge amounts of data from various sources, is what gives us deep information about our consumers exactly at the time when we need it. We can get these in a cost-effective manner, and analyse them deeply to come up with strategies that would suit the habits and patterns of our clients.

Small data is equally valuable. By asking questions to consumers, we can understand their motives behind the transactions we captured through big data. These motives will help us get deeper into their psyche and understand why they buy what they buy, why they choose a certain product over another etc. The human insight we gain from this understanding can play an instrumental role in the overall determination of how we go about our business.

Thus, in order to get a holistic view of the customer’s story, his purchase journey and his experience, combining big and small data can be very helpful.

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