Recently, a new beast has begun to terrorize the market research industry. Big Data. Say it with a booming echoey voice and it sounds even scarier. For a while, I thought I was missing something. Big Data must be a specific term for something newly discovered, a new book, a new piece of software. But alas no. It simply means what it sounds like. Really big data sets.
Because I’m in the market research industry, I’ve worked with online survey panel datasets of hundreds of millions of records, transactional datasets with hundreds of millions of records, and social media datasets with hundreds of millions of records. If we allow for individual data points, then I’ve worked with datasets containing billions of data points.
So why are folks getting all excited big data? Have they never worked with big datasets before? Are they just now realizing that big datasets exist? Believe me, big datasets are no big deal to market researchers. This is what we do everyday. We already get it. Just ask us.
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