Brain vs Brawn in Data Analysis

September 16, 2012

Is bigger necessarily better when it comes to data? Klaviyo’s Ed Hallen doesn’t think so, as he reveals in his post, “Big Data vs Intelligent Data (and What Startups Can Do with It).” He believes the recent focus on big data may be missing a big point. Intelligent data, defined as reducing huge quantities of data to just the relevant bits, is much more important than being able to analyze every scrap of data that comes your way.

Hallen enumerates what he considers intelligent data:

  1. Data that is clear and unambiguous – i.e. the data values can be defined and measured in a repeatable fashion.
  2. Data that is concise – i.e. the data represents the smallest number of data points that would lead to the same action. If you need 90% certainty to take action, it’s the amount of data that will safely give you that.
  3. Data that is directly linked to action – i.e. based on different values of that data, different decisions will be made and implemented.

Hallen suggests a few applications that actively help companies use data intelligently: Unbounce or Myna for A/B testing, Hubspot for marketing analytics, and, naturally, his own Klaviyo for user management and marketing. He advises startups, especially, to carefully consider what they need from their data and what they will do with that information. Good advice for any business.

Cynthia Murrell, September 16, 2012

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