Why 'little data' has become Big Data’s new battleground

Natalie Steers
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Internet players and data collectors of every type are at risk of taking the consumer’s personal data, their ‘little data’, for granted, turning the Big Data value system into a battleground.

So says Ovum analyst Mark Little who explains that infringement of consumers’ privacy – such as the case of Google Street View – will see the Big Data industry face “hurricane-force disruptions” to their personal data supply.

And the same will be true for targeted advertising, CRM, Big Data analytics, and the digital economy as a whole ,he says, pointing to a recent  Ovum Consumer Insights survey that found 68% of the internet population across 11 countries would select a “do not track” (DNT) feature if it was easily available.

Privacy tools and services, such as the newly introduced cookie options, are empowering consumers to monitor, control, block, and secure their personal data as never before.

As a result, this move towards user-controlled data has the power to majorly disrupt the supply lines of Big Data.

“Big Data’s complexity means that its value system has to be broken down into component parts –collection, ingestion, aggregation, processing, integration, analytics, and many more – in order to deal quickly and accurately with the volume and range of personal data,” says Little.

The emergence of consumer-controlled data will bring differrent data sources, business rules, and permissions, force the existing component parts of Big Data and the links between them to be redesigned and renegotiated – significantly disrupting the industry.

Little concluded: “Unfortunately, in the gold rush that is Big Data it is easy to take the supply of personal or ‘little’ data for granted. We must not forget that consumers have a sustainable competitive advantage over the Big Data players; not only can individuals always produce an accurate profile of themselves, but they can also look to their future, a trick even Google is yet to perform.

“Marketers should not be surprised if more and more consumers look to alternative privacy ecosystems to control, secure, and even benefit from their own data. Marketing departments must focus on building their relationships with consumers more and their data sets less – building smarter profiles rather than bigger ones.”


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