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Small Data, Big Disruptions
How to Spot Signals of Change and Manage Uncertainty
Author Martin Schwirn, Foreword Peder Inge Furseth
ISBN: 9781632651921
Book (Hardcover)
Red Wheel Weiser, Career Press
$24.95
6 x 9
224 pages
22 charts/diagrams
April 1, 2021


Currently Not Available for Purchase

A method to find and connect the small data clues that show what the future’s big picture will look like.


“Strategy decisions are like playing high-stakes blackjack, and scanning is the technique for counting cards. Martin Schwirn isn’t a pro gambler, but an expert in scanning.”
—Bill Ralston, cofounder of Strategic Business Insights and author of Scenario Planning Handbook


An organization’s future success depends on their decision makers’ ability to anticipate changes and disruptions in the marketplace. But how do you get information about tomorrow today? How can your decisions today account for tomorrow’s uncertainties?


Small Data, Big Disruptions presents a tool kit to foresee coming changes:



  • Understand why big data will not help you with understanding tomorrow’s disruptions. The future starts with small data—first.

  • Learn the proven 4-step process to capture small data that help envision the future.

  • See examples of how the process anticipated major disruptions.

  • Implement the process in your organization and learn how to initiate meaningful actions.



Small Data, Big Disruptions provides the information you need to anticipate the future, understand tomorrow’s market dynamics, and make the necessary decisions to meet the future on your terms.


Small Data, Big Disruptions lets you exploit the period between the moment you could know about emerging disruptions and the moment most everybody will know about it. It’s the difference between being ahead of the curve and struggling to catch up.

Martin Schwirn is a vice president at Strategic Business Insights, an SRI International spinoff. He is focused on strategic and innovation-related consulting, including foresighting, horizon scanning, and scenario planning. He is the director of the scanning methodology that Small Data, Big Disruptions introduces and has worked internationally with the process for more than two decades.

Schwirn has helped companies from virtually every industry, as well as many government departments in Asia, Europe, North American, and South America, to anticipate disruptions and change. He lives in San Francisco and works in Silicon Valley.
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