I’ve gotten so tired of the expression “big data.” We’ve been hearing it for the last few years and it has become over-used and kind of obnoxious.

Its definition has morphed into so many places, but it appears to me the online folks really grabbed onto it with their collection of large quantities of information that are analyzed (and analyzed again) to reveal trends, behaviors and patterns  as it relates to performance — whether it be to determine lifestyle behaviors or buying propensity.

Even though I tried to boil it down to the basics, it still feels too big to grasp. And as someone who spends her day working with small- to medium-sized businesses, I’ve been wondering how to make it work for me.

So I began to think about small data and whether that could become an option for my customers in the water industry. Thus I went online to find a definition for small data. Most of the definitions I found were pretty old (by the way, nothing was newer than 2013 and our world changes much too rapidly for that), so I am giving you my own definition of the term.

Here you go: Small data takes the insights from big data and moves it to a local framework, providing meaningful, understandable intelligence that can be used every day to market products and services efficiently and cost-effectively.

It kind of feels like this is what we direct marketing veterans in the water industry have been doing for years — targeting homeowners with our mailings and testing different variables in an effort to create a direct marketing campaign that delivers top ROI for our dealerships.

Small data – the way to go!