The thing about “big data” is that it is, well, big. Lots of hype, innovation, start-up activity, punditry and opportunity. Sorry Gen-Y, you didn’t start it. WAIN Street is helping to build up small businesses with the help of “big data”.
The “big” in “big data” is a play on the size and scale. It’s about the sheer volume of observations that allows recognizing patterns and drawing conclusions without thinking about causality. That’s why it works so well for consumer behavior and social media. When looking at 400 million tweets or 5 billion Google searches every day, you’re able take liberties that traditional statistics would scoff at because you’re not dealing with the typical small sample sizes.
When you listen to the data, patterns emerge. The picture within the picture becomes visible. Outliers that would normally skew results become rich subtext. With “big data”, Amazon suggests what you might want to buy; Netflix tells you what movies you want to watch tonight; and Twitter has its finger on the social pulse of the nation. It is “big data” that allows Google to drive a car minus the human operator. And at WAIN Street, with “big data” we are Taking the Pulse of businesses nationwide.
Each day, 30 million businesses in the United States generate multiple kinds of data points by performing their financial obligations. That’s approaching hashtag-esque scale. WAIN Street’s Business Default Index aggregates this disparate data and brings it together in a way that reflects the incidence and severity of defaults by US businesses. The only difference is that instead of concluding what movie you’d most likely enjoy on a Sunday afternoon, WAIN Street draws conclusions about the prevailing vitality of middle-market and small businesses in different demographic segments. This information can be used by credit markets to better serve these businesses by giving them access to more capital for growth and job creation.