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In a Big Data world, don't forget the small stuff

These days, anyone who has anything to do with managing data for business purposes is likely talking about Big Data. However, those vast stockpiles of consumer-generated information, coming from social media websites, sales databases and a host of other sources, are not the only stores of data that your company needs to be concerned about.

Writing for his blog, Data Governance and Data Quality Insider, Steve Sarsfield explains that there are three categories of information -- big; enterprise or medium; and discrete or small.

Each has its own governance and technology requirements. While small data may be adequate for companies that have no strategy for managing and governing the files, larger companies involved in customer relationship management, data warehousing and other applications need to beef up their policies and technology suites.

For businesses that have matured faster than their data management processes, it may be time to reassess the use of spreadsheets for customer records, Sarsfield says.

"If you're still managing your customer list in a spreadsheet, it's probably something you started when your company was fairly young. Now, the uses for the data should be expanded and you are still stuck in the young company's process," he explains. "Something that was agile when you were young is inefficient today."

With that in mind, consider seeking out other methods of list management, such as an address validation or point-of-entry verification solution.

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