Big Data Only Works When Little Data is Valued

by Angela Guess

Robert Plant of the Harvard Business Review recently opined that Big Data doesn’t work if the small things are ignored. He writes, “Ever waited hours, in vain, for a repair service to arrive at your home? Of course you have. We all have. Chances are you’ve also shifted your allegiance away from a company that made you wait like that. So why do companies spend millions on big data and big-data-based market research while continuing to ignore the simple things that make customers happy? Why do they buy huge proprietary databases yet fail to use plain old scheduling software to tell you precisely when a technician is going to arrive?”

He goes on, “For that matter, why do they send trucks with the wrong inventory on board? Why do they impose unfathomable password requirements? Create complex online registration processes? Shut down their customer service on weekends? Hound you with robocalls until you answer a survey? Big data is today’s panacea, the great new hope for unlocking the mysteries of marketing. To avoid being left behind, companies are rushing to cash in on the information they glean from customers, and vendors are stepping up to help. The venture capital community has taken note of this trend: Over the past year, investors have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into start-ups that promise to exploit caches like Facebook’s reported 100 petabytes of data.”

Read more here.

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