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If all the digital information in the world were stored on DVDs and they were placed one on top of the other, the height of the stack of discs, thus formed, would almost double the distance that separates us from the Moon, which is about 385,000 Km. Fact that is not surprising knowing that today's society generates the equivalent of 360,000 DVDs per minute.
It is estimated that each person originates, on average, about 6 Mb per day, without counting the data from electronic sensors, within what is known as the Internet of things (IoT). We are mobile factories of data, yes, unstructured and with different formats.
Every Google search, every email, reading a newspaper or watching a video on the Internet, every card payment, every “like” on Facebook,… every click is a clue, a “digital breadcrumb”, a breadcrumb, as the Anlo-Saxons say that it contributes to drawing an individual portrait of great commercial value.
The concept ofBig datait tries to store, cross and analyze vast amounts of data, to draw conclusions, to predict events and to drive user-centered decisions. It is based on the attributes of the so-called 3 V's: volume, speed and variety, which refer, respectively, to the exponential growth of data, its need for real-time processing and the wide variety of existing formats.
Other authors add more V's, such as those of veracity (data reliability) and value, the latter, key, as it alludes to the return on investment that can be expected from the expensive infrastructures that Big Data requires, a concept that has generated such grandiloquent names as the universe or galaxy of data, the new oil or the new gold of the modern economy, which by the way must be kept in a good "cloth".
The commercial benefits that can be derived from having personalized consumer profiles on a large scale seem evident, a scenario in which large companies are competing that are in everyone's mind, Google among them.
The Public administrations They can also optimize the large volume of data of all kinds that they handle to provide better services to citizens, in a more transparent and efficient way.
SMEs, likewise, can and should benefit from the Big Data paradigm, on a smaller scale, with fewer customers, from a less global perspective, but analyzing in more detail the interactions related to their specific business, including emotions and comments on social networks. generated by your customers. It is what is known as small data.
Of course, also with lower demands in terms of the necessary technological infrastructures. Even now, in pay-per-use mode, with the new Big Data service for SMEs that Google has just put on the market: the cloud Big Table.
Small data is a relatively little known term yet, but it offers great business opportunities for ICT companies that know how to treat and offer the information required by SMEs to improve sales to their customers in a friendly format.
Starting from the concept of Big Data, for large companies and public institutions, we have arrived at the concept of Small data in its version for SMEs, but there is still one more step to go on this decreasing scale in terms of “dataification”: the staff, which concerns us as individuals continuous generators of data, which large and small companies take advantage of to sell us more and better services.
Indeed, small data also refers to us and affects us directly as citizens, as it says Nagore of the Rivers, because they are our data, our "digital crumbs", and therefore they belong to us, and duly treated and combined would allow us to be true smart citizens.
The data of our electricity or water bills, expenses in food, clothing, gasoline or restaurants, duly treated and easily displayed, would help us to have a more efficient domestic economy.
Our little ones details daily, such as the steps we take, the calories we burn, the calls we make, our glucose levels, our heart rate, email alerts, our symptoms, ... structured in standard formats that facilitate their combination acquired a importance unsuspected to produce a snapshot of our health that would help improve it and prevent diseases.