Matthew Falla: Big Data for little brands

03 : 03 : 2015 Signal Noise : Big Data : Data Capture

We often think of data as the not-so-secret weapon of big brands, slowly replacing intuition and traditional market research with extensive A/B testing that means every tiny detail has been optimised to reap the greatest rewards.

But what options are available to the small businesses and start-ups that don’t have access to the huge amounts of data filling servers around the world?

Matthew Falla has been producing data-driven content and business intelligence tools since Signal Noise was launched in 2010, around the time Big Data started to come into its own.

For a short-term fix, says Falla, take advantage of a growing industry of data wholesalers, who aggregate the latest metrics on a huge range of criteria just waiting to be cherry-picked.

A longer-term solution is to start collecting your own data, to provide a richer, more nuanced picture of your consumer base.

Falla cites Bibendum, a wine distributor that created Plonk, a consumer-facing app to better understand what people are drinking.

‘In the traditional sense that wouldn’t be big data, but it was big enough for them,’ says Falla. ‘As a starting point it’s a good idea to work out the data you need, understand what you want to know and then come up with creative ways of opening that up to consumers.’

Top five take-outs

  1. Size doesn’t matter. The important thing is to remain focused.
  2. Get to know your consumers. Every major trend points towards individualisation. Create ways to understand each and every consumer better.
  3. Content is key. Create engaging content-driven platforms to get consumers to give you that vital information.
  4. Don’t wait. As the amount of data continues to rise exponentially, start collecting now.
  5. Clarity is king. Focus in on what kind of data will lead to real optimisation now.