‘Wide’, not ‘big’, data

Saw this article a while ago on the NetworkWorld website, not sure if it’s a more broadly adopted concept – but the idea of ‘wide’ data appeals. Can’t remember if Rob Kitchin addresses it in his excellent book The Data Revolution… will have to check!

(I’m blogging this so I can finally close the tab in my browser!)

Why businesses should focus on wide data, not big data

In these heady days of big data, a lot of organizations treat data collection like a Pokémon game: Gotta catch it all. But Dane Atkinson, CEO of cross-platform marketing analytics specialist SumAll says most organizations need to think wide, not big, when it comes to data.

“The real impact of data always comes from the intersection of different data sets,” Atkinson says. “You don’t get into the earth shattering discoveries until you start to link disparate data sets.”

This idea of ‘wide’ data is what some marketing people have called ‘horizontals’ – the ability to stitch together different kinds of data to create a particular kind of value proposition (see Irene Ng’s book on this…)

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