Original Research

The logical differentiation between small data and big data

Wandisa Nyikana, Tiko Iyamu
South African Journal of Information Management | Vol 25, No 1 | a1701 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v25i1.1701 | © 2023 Wandisa Nyikana, Tiko Iyamu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 April 2023 | Published: 24 December 2023

About the author(s)

Wandisa Nyikana, Department of Information Technology, Faculty of Informatics and Design, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa
Tiko Iyamu, Department of Information Technology, Faculty of Informatics and Design, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa

Abstract

Background: The distinction between small data and big data is increasingly muted and has caused challenges and confusion in many quarters.

Objective: The objective of the study is to gain a deeper understanding of the confounded confusion that exists between small data and big data. Firstly, to develop a taxonomy that distinguishes between small data and big data. Secondly, it seeks to extract the value from the concepts, which can be of fundamental importance to an organisation.

Methods: This study follows the interpretive approach and employs qualitative methods, based on which 57 related materials were gathered, covering big data and small data, and analysed.

Results: The study reveals the factors that differentiate the concepts, which are of a technical front, business logic and data processing.

Conclusion: This study addresses the challenges which are increasingly of prohibitive ramifications for both academic and business domains. By removing the confusion, the classifications of small data and big data including associated attributes will be better understood. This increases their business use towards enhancement and competitive advantage.

Contribution: The article distinguishes between small data and big data, which has been missing, from both academic and business perspectives, since the emergence of the latter. The differentiation between small data and big data provides a guide to organisations in developing strategic frameworks and operational plans.


Keywords

big data; confusion between small and big data; taxonomic; small data; data differentiation; data classification; data nomenclature; data characteristics; logic difference; data analytics

JEL Codes

C55: Large Data Sets: Modeling and Analysis; D80: General; D83: Search • Learning • Information and Knowledge • Communication • Belief • Unawareness

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Metrics

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