Big Data – With apologies to Twain and Disraeli

I was reviewing the metrics associated with my first blog post last week and trying to determine how they are meaningful.  They made me think of the saying “lies, damned lies, and statistics” attributed to Mark Twain or Benjamin Disraeli (which could take me off on a Cream tangent for you classic rockers).  What does the fact that I had 32 page views mean?  Did the viewers look at the blog and read it thoroughly, casting it aside with mock and disdain, or did they look at Copper, think “cool dog” and move on?  I can claim I have international readership since one person from Canada viewed the blog.

Say Big Data One More Time.jpgThere is a series of comments on LinkedIn about the Pulp Fiction picture to the left and what “Big Data” really means.  Todd Ray, a strategist at Blue Rooster, asks “what makes it big, anyway? when does it cross over the threshold from less big?”  Both great questions because my 32 views barely qualify as small data. I can tell that 22% of my viewers are mobile, so clearly I have an audience that is filling time.

Instead of wondering about the big data, I think we need to wonder about the big questions.  What is your strategy, or what are you trying to solve, and how can a resolution make your business better or improve your customer service?  Start asking those questions, and then begin digging into the data you already have.  It may not be a complex exercise for many businesses.  Larger enterprises with data scientists that are analyzing terabytes of data per day and applying insight through statistical analysis are valuable if you are asking the right questions.  I propose that you start by gathering basic data, invoking a little common sense, and creatively solving a problem that can help your business progress.  The data might not have been big, but the impact of the solution can be great.  Start small, then get bigger.

What are your thoughts on data, using common sense (experience?) and solving problems?  Leave comments, and I’ll provide statistics in my next blog.

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Useful app – I really like Pocket.  I can save an article to read offline anytime and it synchs to my different mobile devices. (see “filling time” above).  This is not a paid endorsement, yet.

P.S.  Copper was sick this weekend but doing better today.  I hope our vet appreciates the car payment.

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