MICHAEL WOLF: Realizing the full potential of data will require companies not to focus just on “Big Data” but also to focus on harnessing the tremendous power of “little data.” What’s required is a new mind-set of how data can benefit the consumer first, and then the company.
Today, most companies think of Big Data nirvana as analyzing the massive amounts of information they gather on consumers to optimize things like marketing budgets, pricing, utilization and costs. That’s all great from the company’s perspective, but not necessarily from that of their customer. What they are missing is the understanding that the true promise of Big Data starts with pleasing the user—not exploiting them. Adopting a little-data mind-set means using information about a user’s actions, activities and preferences to enhance that user’s experience—whether it’s online, with a product (physical or digital) or at a retail store.