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8 Examples of Small Data

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Small data is information that is small enough to be processed by a single machine or understood by a single individual. The following are illustrative examples.

Data Sets

A salesperson tracks their contacts in an annotated spreadsheet.


A market research initiative produces a document rich with qualitative data about how customers perceive brands and products in a product category.


Each morning a warehouse manager gets an automatically generated report that indicates the outbound and inbound deliveries for the day.


An executive gets a weekly report that indicates the efficiency and productivity of a production line.


A banking system performs automatic reconciliation for a day's transactions. The system is installed on a single machine with failover in the bank's data center.


A graphics designer produces media and content using software installed on a laptop.


A mid-sized firm runs dozens of local databases to support systems, applications, data analysis and visualization. It is not uncommon for a large firm to have hundreds of databases in a small data configuration.


A family stores their personal files such as photos and videos on local storage devices with a few backups.


Small data was previously simply known as data. The modern term is used to distinguish between traditional data configurations and big data. It can be argued that small data still produces far more economic output than big data as many industries are mostly operated using systems, applications, documents and databases in small data configurations.
Overview: Small Data
Information that is small enough to be processed by a single machine or understood by a single individual.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about data.
Abstract Data
Atomic Data
Big Data
Cohort Analysis
Dark Data
Data Analysis
Data Architecture
Data Attribute
Data Cleansing
Data Collection
Data Complexity
Data Consumer
Data Control
Data Corruption
Data Custodian
Data Degradation
Data Dredging
Data Entity
Data Federation
Data Integration
Data Integrity
Data Liberation
Data Lineage
Data Literacy
Data Loss
Data Management
Data Massage
Data Migration
Data Mining
Data Owner
Data Producer
Data Quality
Data Remanence
Data Risks
Data Rot
Data Science
Data Security
Data States
Data Transformation
Data Uncertainty
Data Veracity
Data View
Data Virtualization
Data Volume
Data Wipe
Decision Support
Deep Magic
Empirical Evidence
Event Data
Hard Data
Information Assurance
Legacy Data
Machine Data
Market Research
Master Data
Misuse of Statistics
Personal Data
Personal Information
Predictive Analytics
Primary Data
Primary Research
Qualitative Data
Qualitative Info
Quantitative Data
Raw Data
Reference Data
Small Data
Soft Data
Source Data
Statistical Analysis
Statistical Population
Structured Data
Transaction Processing
Transactional Data
Types Of Data
Unstructured Data
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An overview of data with a list of examples.

Qualitative Data vs Quantitative Data

The difference between qualitative data and quantitative data.

Data Examples

Common examples of data.

Event Data

The definition of event data with examples.

Data Mining Examples

The definition of data mining with examples.

Data Architecture

The definition of data architecture with examples.

Cached Data

The definition of cached data with examples. Includes an explanation of why cached data can usually be deleted safely.

Data Driven

An overview of data-driven approaches with examples.

Primary Data

The definition of primary data with examples.

Types Of Data

The basic types of data.

Machine Readable

The definition of machine readable with examples.

Empirical Evidence

The definition of empirical evidence with examples.

Unstructured Data

A definition of unstructured data with examples.
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