The enterprise world fell in love with big data half a decade ago. McKinsey called it, “The Next Frontier for Innovation,” the HBR called it, “The Management Revolution” and companies like Tableau achieved multi-billion dollar market capitalizations. (Not to mention high profile startups like Cloudera and Palantir.) Today the Garter Group sees a stable market with headlines like, “Investment in Big Data is Up but Fewer Organizations Plan to Invest.”

  • Lots of people use small data, and don’t even know it
  • Smart managers use small data to make better decisions
  • Small data means human comprehensible data typically representing big data sets

Small data is a big opportunity for anyone selling information. The Big Data industry revolves around designing enterprise products for the thousand, or so, Fortune 500 sized companies. Companies with less than $5b in revenue account have significant needs and also represent a vast market.

Companies seek data on-demand with transparent pricing that fits budgets. By helping businesses discover new channels of information, having this information pre-integrated into tools everyone already uses with comprehensible pricing vastly expands the market for information.

Although technology greatly increases the amount of small data available, it has been around forever; Procter and Gamble developed the concept of market segmentation generations ago.

At Odge our entire business revolves around making small data accessible to anyone anywhere. Beekeepers find the most productive locations for hives. Truck drivers optimize routing. Investors calculate ratios. Real Estate agents develop leads. Connecting people with the right information in familiar spreadsheets like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets means anyone can improve their business with data.

Overall the picture is less golden: in the Bay Area the average employee of a big public company earns $16,808 of stock options. Still, to put that in perspective: that’s still about a third of what the average American earns per year.

It is also important to remember that stock-based compensation tends to be earned by employees most in demand. For example, Apple needs to compete with Facebook and Google for engineers, while it competes with Williams-Sonoma ($1,472) and the Gap ($539) for retail employees. As a result it is not surprising that an engineering-heavy company like Twitter ($174,172) would spend far more on average for equity compensation than Ross Stores ($911.79).

Although some of the highest paid people on the planet live in the Bay Area, it is also the home of $10 avocado toast, $13 minimum wage and million dollar plus fixer uppers. Although some careers are much more financially rewarding than other careers, overall the millions of people who call the Bay Area home get to share a stunning landscape with some of the best opportunities in the world.