Is ‘little data’ the next big data?

Posted by Justin Hesser on September 30, 2013

The big data era can only go so far.

Businesses are using this concept to track more information as a means to benefit their organization, but, as is always the case in our society, we start to grow tired of an idea or trend after a while. Or, we try to generate innovative approaches at a particular concept. This is happening with big data, and the next leap in its usefulness may be "big little data."

What is that, you ask?

It's the idea of applying big data principles to smaller sets of information. There is a tremendous amount of small data sets across the business infrastructure and they have to be properly managed. If data is collected in volumes where it's manageable but the same big data principles are applied to its management, companies can control their information more effectively.

Robert Morton, a senior software engineer, wrote a piece concerning the next step in big data. His belief is that there will be two components of information management. One is big little data and the other is data integration, which refers to the combination of disparate data parts. 

"These two components come together in an interesting way," Morton wrote. "As with databases, data integration has been around for some time but has not evolved at the same pace as data management systems. Data integration is currently not suited to blending massive data sets with numerous small data sets, since a big bottleneck in data integration is in requiring human involvement to help identify the common facets between two otherwise unrelated data sets."

Integrating data will require the breakdown of information so it can be easily manageable. This is a challenge, but will ultimately lead to more successful information management efforts.

Remember, regardless of how you manage your information, you will need appropriate tools in place to improve the way it's handled. A custom database software system will go a long way toward allowing you to break your information down and make smart decisions based on its contents and organization. Managing information integration requires an understanding of what data needs to be processed and where it needs to go. A FileMaker-based system can provide users with the tools needed to accomplish this, among any other data management goals. This will be important as we move into the future of big data management.