What is “Small Data”?

By Lizza Miller

Fitbit WearablesSmall data is information about an individual. Tidbits of information that can help identify personal trends in terms of wearables, weight management, fitness, or even gratitude. Small data is making a big wave in the ocean of personal health. With the plethora of mobile fitness and health apps, as well as the rise of wearable technologies, it’s becoming easier for individuals to take their health into their own hands.

Taking these individual data points, and combining them with other individuals’ data, transforms small data into big data. Big data has been used by medical professionals and researchers to identify informative trends within a population. Big data indeed helps identify at-risk populations and provides a starting point for developing cures and preventative medicines, however, we often forget that without the single observation of small data, big data cannot exist.

The Big Benefit of Small Data

There has been a shift in the way the health system works. It is no longer a matter of how many individuals can you cure of ailments and illnesses, but how many individuals can you prevent from getting sick in the first place. Small data can help with this in a big way.

Health systems such as Geisinger, Sutter Health, and Group Health are already experiencing the power of small data and seeing improved patient outcomes and engagement.. ~Lizza Miller, CEO, DatStat

Utilizing small data can help physicians identify good and bad habits within their patient’s daily life, allowing for a custom prescription of a healthy lifestyle that focuses on preventing illness. This personalized healthcare can be more effective in eliciting behavioral change on an individual level.

Read more on small data and improved outcomes in the Journal of AHIMA’s Q&A article with DatStat’s CEO and Co-Founder, Lizza Miller.


Small Data and Improved Patient Engagement

Lizza provides the strategic direction and vision for Datstat, using her two decades of experience in Medical Informatics and Behavioral Health. She founded DatStat with the belief that technology could transform how health researchers could engage with patients, track outcomes over time, and deliver empirically validated interventions at a scale that would positively impact the health of our world’s population.  Lizza realized all of the innovations taking place in the research world could have significant implications in the clinical world and has successfully pivoted the company to support population health more broadly.


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