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Big data is the new ‘it’ word, the new hot topic, and quite frankly, the term can be somewhat overused. There are a few different reasons why I dislike the term “big data”. The big data word came around and data is big, just by nature. As the world continues to grow, data will also continue to grow. The word is completely relative; what terabytes is considered big data to Comcast, 100 lines on an Excel sheet may be considered big data to a small ma & pa shop. The other factor that needs to be taken into consideration here is that not all data is relevant. Today, many people are getting caught in this cycle of “it happened, so we better record it. You never know, we might need that someday”. Sometimes we tend to lose the forest for the trees. Taking in so much data can lead to fascinating academic results, but not always relevance from a business point of view. There is a lot of time, energy, and money spent chasing down this big data because it’s the new buzzword, but it’s not put into perspective. Big data can truly mean different things to each and every person.


So, how about smart data? Rather than looking at the amount of data one can collect and hold onto, why don’t we begin to draw our attention to what the data can tell us and what changes we can make based on the power of analytics? Why not focus in on the actionable insights rather than this giant species of nothing but numbers? I challenge you to alter this perspective that you have had engrained in your mind. Big just takes up space, but smart can change the space.

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