Micro Data: The Basis of Big Data
Data is one of the most critical aspects of a company. Every department of the company relies on information to make decisions that help a business grow. However, in modern days, the focus is entirely on big data, and little facts that lead to big revelations are ignored. Companies rarely think about micro data but the reality is big data’s broad generalization, and correlations can’t exist without the granular details of micro data.
Big data represents a lot of information that is collected in many ways and different formats. Big data provides a bird’s eye view that quickly bridges the gap between different data sets. Micro data, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. It consists of data points that are collected by interacting with a sample of the target audience and mapping out their specific preferences. The key differentiator between these two is that big data represents facts and figures about populations and micro data represents facts and figures about individuals.
How to Collect Data?
Modern business solutions are data-driven, and big data or micro data alone can’t solve every problem. Companies must utilize the insights from both macro and micro data after an in-depth evaluation of datasets from both. The marketers must compare and contrast individual insights from micro data to draw out accurate understanding of behavior.
Companies use multiple methods to collect data such as questionnaires and interviews via online and paper mediums. Few companies also utilize in-person and telephone interviewing to gather detailed and refined person-specific information. These research techniques help marketers understand customer behavior and why they purchase a specific product. Other less-intrusive methods like scouring census information and trade organization membership lists can also highlight specific details for a targeted group of individuals.
Companies also use methods like monitoring transactional data from the store/online purchases, social media, reward programs, and analysis of physical or online store traffic. These methods help in gathering information that can lead to mass generalizations. These methods highlight the ways consumer act upon their beliefs as a larger whole.
Marketers must consider a wide range of data to understand the entire customer experience completely. Big data can help companies make informed decisions, but micro data will always be needed for refined information.