Skip to content

Understanding Data: The 4 Types of Data

Understanding Data: The 4 Types of Data

If you’re interested in learning how data can help you grow your business, it’s helpful to understand what the different types of data are and what each one is used for. While the word data simply means facts and statistics collected for reference, that’s not enough of a definition to help you make sense of the many different tools and strategies that are available.

[Tweet “As a business owner, you’re much more likely to benefit from small data.”]

Data comes in a variety of formats, and they’re not all equally relevant to the small business owner. With that in mind, here’s a very brief introduction to the four types of data you need to know about:

Big Data: This is the data that captures all the headlines. Major retailers and other large organizations can track, record and analyze the demographics, behaviors, preferences and more of entire populations – hundreds of thousands, even millions of people. Big data analysis identifies patterns and trends. This is extremely useful – it’s what Jeff Bezos used to build Amazon – but for the typical small business owner, it’s not accessible or affordable.

Small Data: As a business owner, you’re much more likely to benefit from small data. These are the insights and observations captured by your website, social media, POS system, and other data capture tools. Small data tracks customer behavior and makes it easier to segment your audience effectively. Small data is also known as objective data.

Thick Data: While Small Data tells us what our customers are doing, Thick Data explains why they are doing it. Thick Data records customer emotions and intentions. Thick Data is often gathered by direct observation. That’s why it’s called observational data.

Smart Data: Smart Data is a select, filtered combination of small data and thick data observations and insights. By filtering out the noise and focusing on those data points most useful to the business owner’s goals and objectives, Smart Data allows for more informed, efficient decision making. Putting observational and objective data together is a game changer.

Share This:

Book FREE Trial

We know that getting back into fitness is tough! Let us help you achieve your weight boxing workouts.

Creative Director/Senior Designer

Tom DiGrazia

With over a decade and a half of professional design experience, Tom brings his knowledge of design principles and focus on user experience to every aspect of his contribution to TTG. Paying special attention to each client’s brand, personalized needs and individual interests, he strives to create compelling concepts utilizing intuitive and highly-refined design solutions. In addition to traditional and digital design work and oversight at TTG, Tom also boasts a wide portfolio of web development projects with the company, allowing him to stretch his CSS and HTML skills across multiple platforms and disciplines. He feels that being a designer in the digital landscape of websites, eCommerce solutions, email marketing platforms and social media, it is important to understand the code that goes into these areas as it assists his ability to tailor designs specifically targeted to achieve the best end result and further builds understanding and communication with backend development teams.

In his off hours, Tom is an avid pop culture enthusiast, staying up to date on the latest shows, films, comics and games. He can also typically be found taking part in a whole host of artistic activities that help him further stretch his creative legs. Regardless of the activity, Tom is always accompanied by his dog, Eli, and his cat, Tib.

Design, Photography, Illustration, Digital Imagery Manipulation, Wesbite Development

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, HTML/CSS, Wordpress


Courtney Dumont

As Senior Marketing Strategist & Analyst at Technology Therapy Group, Courtney is energized by the ability to flex both her left and right brain daily. Courtney discovered her passion for Marketing at Bryant University, where she spearheaded research on students’ perceptions of Social Media Marketing for her Honors Capstone Project. After graduating Bryant in 2012, she joined the Technology Therapy team, where she’s honed her skills in social media, search and social advertising, email marketing, SEO, and more.

Since joining the team, Courtney has created digital marketing strategies and managed campaigns for clients across the country, ranging from plastic surgery centers, to jewelry stores, to construction companies. With a cohesive, cross-channel approach and a focus on data-driven decision making, she has increased their leads by up to 217%. But Courtney doesn’t leave her zeal for social media at the office; she also runs a local foodie Instagram account with her husband to document their meals across Rhode Island and beyond. Check them out: @hoppilyfed.

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social Media

Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Facebook Creator Studio, Instagram, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Emma Mail, Google Data Studio, WordPress, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Microsoft Office