Description: The hype around “big data” in Silicon Valley has left many people confused with what “big data” actually means. There are numerous news stories and articles which catalogue the disasters facing many large enterprises when it comes to analyzing large data sets.
Date: April 4, 2013
The hype around “big data” in Silicon Valley has left many people confused with what “big data” actually means. There are numerous news stories and articles which catalogue the disasters facing many large enterprises when it comes to analyzing large data sets. Most companies aren’t sure what they’re looking for or are confused with how to make sense of disparate data — I call this a problem of “haystacks without needles”. Rather than data for data’s sake, the question should be how does one use data to generate genuine insight that can influence and inform business strategy, create efficiencies and build the business. The other key issue is how to do all this while ensuring clean and accurate data upon which those business decisions will be made. These fundamental issues are what drive us at Radius.
The key to success with analyzing any large data set is focus. At Radius, we’ve decided to focus on small business data. We’ve built a system that indexes the web just like Google and then organizes that information around 23 million small businesses in the United States. The types of data we collect include social reviews, Twitter and social information, owner background, news articles about small businesses themselves, or even the success (or failure) of running Groupon and LivingSocial deals. These make up only a small fraction of the sources and types of information we collect about small businesses.
Small businesses are close to my heart. My grandfather owned a textiles and dress-making shop in Iran before he had to flee to America after the 1979 revolution. Most of my extended family run small technology consulting firms or local service-based businesses. As Americans, it is incredibly important that we be absolutely certain our small business economy continues to grow and thrive. As cliché as it might sound, small business is the heart and soul of the American economy and embodies the quintessential American spirit of optimism, risk and ambition. Without small businesses, our free market can’t survive — Fortune 500 companies rely on smaller buyers to continue to buy. READ REST OF STORY
Questions for discussion:
1. Can Big Data be used effectively with small business? Why or Why not?
2. What questions would a small business want answered with Big Data?