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Creating a Data-Driven Culture

What is Big Data?

"Imagine a giant toy box, filled to the brim with lego bricks, duplo blocks and your favourite characters. Sounds exciting right?

You could build all sorts of things, castles, forts, fire engines and even pirate ships ...

… Say you wanted to build a fire engine. You would need some red bricks, a fireman model, wheels and the ladder for the fire engine.

In that jumbled up box it would take you all day to find those bricks.

It’s the same when it comes to Big data. There is a lot of useful information in those huge data sets but finding it can be difficult."

Andrew Jennings, chief analytics officer at FICO

What are the differences between Big Data & Small Data?

Big Data

To companies, uncovering the hidden patterns of potential customer behaviour is appealing. Therefore, people want to get their hands on big data analytics. However, amassing huge information and analysing it accurately is not easy.

It often requires world-class scientists, advanced technology analytical tools and significant financial resources.

Small Data

On the contrary, small data is easily accessible as the data are available in bite-sized and can be easily comphrehended by people looking to get actionable insights.

In fact, small data is all about the people.

"Big Data is all about the Correlation, whereas Small Data is about the Causation." - Martin Lindstrom, Brand Specialist and Best Selling Author

Utilising Small Data for Big Impact

Companies already have "small data", hence there is no need to further exhaust resources on new infrastructure, initiatives or even fresh hire. There are many straightforward ways to maximize the value of these small data.

In fact, many companies have successfully used data to drive decision making.


Grocery Shopping Cart

In 2004, Walmart used predictive analytics to forecast how to supply their stores ahead of future storms by utilising data of purchased products from areas which hurricanes have strucked.

Aside from staples like flashlights, they began to stock up on top selling items strawberry Pop-Tarts and beer in hurricane forecasted areas which resulted in brisk sales.


In a study, 39% of U.S. consumers say that Netflix has the best original programming which is thrice as much as their closest competitor, HBO. (Morgan Stanley, 2018)

The key to their success is highly engineered picture of consumers' preference in the videos through the use of data analytics. Netflix invests a lot of resources in creating content that fits their audiences' preference. As a result, they produced House of Cards, which is a huge hit among their users.

Companies also fall into the trap of collecting and storing data from their business operations but not fully utilizing them - which is also known as dark data.

How else would data-driven decision making impact businesses?

  1. Remain Competitive e.g. Set measurable goals that helps businesses to move ahead

  2. Deeper Consumer Insights e.g. Utilise social listening tools or analysing customers feedback/ reviews.

  3. Develop Cost Effective Solutions e.g. Identify the most cost-effective channel to promote products or to handle the logistics

  4. Detect Future Opportunities

  5. More Agile e.g. Able to quickly measure results and create a faster feedback loop

"Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion." - Engineer W. Edwards Deming

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