7 Benefits of Using Small Data

[In this article from the Center for Digital Education “small data” is compared to “Big Data.” Small data is more personalized and less about major trends than about individual learning.]

While big data is a huge deal in today’s business world, small data can make a real and timely impact on the education field. Here’s how.

BY ERIN LATHAM / JULY 1, 2015
Computer science in schools

FLICKR/MICHAEL KING

A student takes a class on Raspberry Pi, a credit card-sized single-board computer developed to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools.

The current obsession with big data has buried the fact that K-12 educators and administrators are more likely to gain useful information from small data sets.

Big data’s overwhelmingly large data sets can be analyzed to reveal patterns, trends and associations, especially in human behavior. Small data, on the other hand, is focused and fact-based, revealing the current state of something and providing context and opportunity for change.

While big data is a huge deal in today’s business world, small data can make a real and timely impact on the education field. It drives your knowledge of your fiscal reality and cost measurement opportunities. It enables the smarter use of funds toward improving learning outcomes, student performance and budgetary health in changing economic times.

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