We are Small Data

We are seeing a lot of buzz about Big Data. The ability to collect massive amounts of data, finding patterns and trends is allowing us to see ourselves, our communities, cultures, and subcultures, as never before.  At the same time, I think about the nature of information in the Age of Information. The ability to measure, collect, analyze has a huge impact on business and culture, especially in the United States, where the measurable is highly valued.

As we are embracing Big Data, I would like to suggest that we also embrace Small Data. Each of us is a unique individual with a story. We are Small Data.  We are each our own little qualitative study. The qualitative and to some degree immeasurable nature of our lives is just as powerful as the Big Data we collect. Let’s continue to value the individual stories, whether we hear them from our patrons, from our colleagues, or from our own experiences.

If we listen to these stories, we can get inspired, get motivated, and get involved.