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What Is Small Data?

The English term small data is a smaller version of data, which is also called insights. These are used to make a quantity of data more accessible and process it more easily.

The English term small data means smaller and clear data sets in the German translation. Small data is the opposite of big data, which in turn means vast amounts of data and, in this way, can lead to confusion.

The advantages of small data

The advantages of small data are that precisely those data can be available that help to solve a specific problem or answer a particular question. The small data are entirely sufficient here, as they are created in direct dialogue with potential customers due to their clarity. The customer, who leaves his data on the website or in the online shop, also enters it himself.

Differences between small data and big data

The significant difference between small data and big data is that with small data, the focus is on the person behind the data and that it is not lost in the statistical values ​​and probabilities as with big data.

Small data is also about selecting the correct data to answer the questions reliably and not being lost in the vast amounts of data.

Vast amounts of data do not bring advantages for a company, but there is a risk of not losing sight of the nearby data. In contrast, the focus is on the data that arise in direct customer dialogue with small data. This also makes the customer’s motives more straightforward, whereas big data does not reveal any reasons.


The marketing expert has examined the phenomenon of small data more closely with his book “Small Data: What Customers Really Want – How to Draw Ingenious Conclusions from Tiny Notes.” The book tells how he spends 300 days a year traveling and observing and questioning people in their homes.

Also Read: What Is Big Data, And Should You Use It?

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