2 min read

Making Sense of Small Data

I’m fascinated by how Google Search has grown from a useful knowledge tool into a more robust interface for making sense of small data to better comprehend market trends.

In nutshell, data that is simple enough to be used for human understanding in such a volume and structure that makes it accessible, concise, and workable is known as small data. – Geeks for Geeks

Google Trends was introduced in 2006 to give people a look into search trends. In the past five years or so it has become the most accessible and widely used tool for obtaining small data. Anyone can see how search behaviors are changing over time. And that’s powerful.

But it’s the platforms that are built on top of Google Trends which really supercharge this tool.

Small Data Tools

I recently found Glimpse which is a plugin that makes Google Trends insights even easier to understand and use in your work. Their plugin adds trend lines, percentage changes, and search volume to the Google Trends dashboard. In other words, it enriches Google Trends data greatly.

Furthermore, Glimpse allows you to personalize your Google Trends experience, adding things like trend alerts which help you track relevant trend changes in real-time.

My search data toolkit also includes Keywords Everywhere, which is my favorite tool for surfacing search traffic reports. The plug-in allows you to determine keyword data across Google, Amazon, and YouTube which is incredibly useful. You get to see the search traffic, competition for the keyword, cost per click, and related long-tail keywords.

Before investing in a business, building a new product, or producing a piece of content, you should be using a small data tool like Keywords Everywhere or Glimpse to understand the market.

Personally, I use Keywords Everywhere religiously when looking for the right search terms ahead of a marketing campaign or new piece of content I’m producing.

At the measly price of $10 per 100,000 keyword searches for Keywords Everywhere and free for Glimpse, these tools are a no-brainer. The value far outweighs the cost.

Data Accessibility

We’re moving toward a world where using data is a requirement and everyone needs to find ways to bring data analysis into their workflow. Small data tools are a great stepping stone because they simplify and normalize the behavior of looking at data before making decisions.

Data analysis is no longer just for data scientists.

There are a number of communities dedicated to surfacing trends in business entirely through search traffic. Trends.co and Trends.vc are two great places for discovering business opportunities and ideas, as well as sharing insights with the group.

Glimpse also has a paid trends report product that is packed full of insights. I’ve had a lot of fun looking at some of the business ideas they’ve unearthed through their search tool:

I don’t think enough people recognize the impact that small data tools are going to have on entrepreneurship. The fact that anyone can discover an untapped product or business idea by just analyzing search traffic is incredible. This is what market research looks like in the 2020s.