Georgetown University

Small Data

Small Data is an integral part of Business Analytics and it refers to two important concepts in practice:

I. When solving a consulting problem, it is very common to have a small sized data set (say less than 30) in order to solve practical business situations. This data set may not be normal or could be quantitative or qualitative.  The data could be categories such a political parties, rankings such as customer preferences or continuous such as the time a customer waits in line on hold with a credit card 800 customer service number.

II. Small data is also a new concept in Business Intelligence which appeared in late 2012, it is the opposite of Big Data and it is an innovative way to understand your customers’ actions.

It refers to all tidbits of information created by customers by means of customers’ preferences, wearables devices and self-tracking. Think of all the digital tidbits consumers leave in their paths as they go through the day. Credit card payments, location fixes, newsletter signups, Facebook likes, tweets and Web searches. Small data are derived from our individual digital traces. Small data is generally small sample sized and not normally distributed.  Small Data drives personalization.

The aim of this class is to introduce advanced quantitative techniques for Business Analytics that will help you to make decisions in the best way to analyze real business data for small data. Also, in terms of IoT, small data is the small set of specific attributes produced by the Internet of Things.

“Small data connects people with timely, meaningful insights (derived from big data and/or “local” sources), organized and packaged to be accessible, understandable, and actionable for everyday tasks”







Click Here for Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING] PROFESSOR JOSE-LUIS GUERRERO: Welcome to the small data revolution. We are surrounded by data all the time, and sometimes we have to make quick decisions in business.

So one of the problems is when I have such a large data set when I'm working with big data, I cannot really see the pattern in the data. I cannot really see what the data is telling me. It's small data connects people with timely and meaningful insights, organized and packaged to be accessible in decision making.

This small data class is going to give you tools to be able to analyze, to interpret, and at the same time, to make decisions with a small data set or data sets that are not a traditional one, and data set that are not the traditional one. For example, the data are not normal, the variables are nominal, or the variables are ordinal.

Data is to give you tools in order to be able to solve problems quickly, and effectively, and very accurately.