The Differences Between Data, Information, and Insight

Data-Information-Insight Tweet

January 23, 2013 started like every other ordinary Wednesday. I was doing a quick scan of my Twitter feed and I saw this gem. You can get the full article here.

Then the skies opened up and a choir of angels began to sing. OK, not really. But you get the idea.

The comment was so insightful that I ended up sharing it during a lunch-and-learn I had last week The event was talking about market research basics with a group of entrepreneurs and people who worked with or for start-ups. One of the comments I had in the presentation is “what is NOT market research”. My comment was just doing a survey or have millions of lines of data is not market research in of itself. However, it is a means of getting market research completed.

So what is the difference between data, information, and insights. Well, here is my perspective:

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Is Big Data The End Of Market Research?

A few weeks back, I read a great blog from Edward Appleton, a European Consumer Insights Manager at a major Multinational company based in Munich, Germany.  In the article, he lays out the case that Researchers should not worry about losing out to those doing big data and analytics.

Before we get into my thoughts of this, lets get some definitions.  According to Wikipedia, “big data is is a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools.”  It usually includes data sets with sizes beyond the ability of commonly-used software tools to capture, curate, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time.  Right now, the amount of actual data can range from few dozen terabytes (1000 gigabytes) to many petabytes (1,000 terabytes) of data in a single data set.

Now back to my thoughts…
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