03 · 28 · 2018
Big Data? Big Deal
A Google search on big data returns this as one of the definitions:
Extremely large data sets that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions.
As a piece of irony, that is a truly beautiful thing. It’s ironic because it says extremely large data sets must be analyzed with computers to understand human behavior. (And it does so without even cracking a knowing smile or a sardonic smirk.) It’s a beautiful thing because it’s perfectly indicative of self-confounding human nature to suggest we’d have to use computers to fathom human nature.
Two questions spring immediately to mind:
- Don’t human beings have to program computers to analyze data about human beings?
- Wouldn’t it be easier and significantly less daunting if we just talked to each other?
We have some big data of our own. We haven’t taken all that much time to analyze it. But the raw data looks like this:
- We acquired x new prospects last year. We talked to 100 percent of them.
- We acquired x new customers last year. We talked to 100 percent of them.
- We revealed their patterns, trends, and associations by talking to 100 percent of them.
- We understood their behavior and their interactions by talking to 100 percent of them.
Even though we didn’t analyze that data computationally (we love that kind of talk), we’re pretty sure we know what it means. If we don’t, our prospects and customers do. And if we want to perform any further analysis, computational or otherwise, all we have to do is talk to them some more.
What’s the Big Deal?
As far as we can tell, there isn’t one. Granted, we tend to be fairly simple folks. Given the choice between a computer or a phone, we’ll pick up the phone. And given the choice between a phone and a meeting, we’ll be there as soon as we can. Near as we can figure, our customers are happy about that. So are we.
If you’re selling Big Data, there’s a lovely place next door with a whole bunch of computers and no phones. Maybe they’ll buy some. But we don’t actually know what they do over there.
We’re too busy talking to our customers.
Photo by allen watkin from London, UK, via Wikimedia Commons.