According to Dictionary.com, big data is consists of “billions or trillions of records that are so vast and complex that they require new and powerful computational resources to process.” Big data can be analyzed to more efficiently target customers, optimize your supply chain, improve manufacturing efficiency, and increase product innovation. In fact, according to IDBS (see the infographic), 29% of companies that have already used big data say it helps create new revenue. What does big data mean to small businesses?
What can big data do for small businesses?
Small companies have the data sets for big data; they just need to use the information. Here are some ways that big data can help your business:
- Learn more about your customers. Data analysis of your company’s data, including social media posts, and public information, such as census data, can help you understand customer preferences. This can enable you to tailor your products/services offerings and how you sell to customers.
- Get ahead of the curve. Big data can help to predict trends you need to know by analyzing topics on social media, economic conditions, and other relevant public information. Then you can use this information to move your company in directions that can profit from trends.
- Become more efficient. Big data can be used to improve your day-to-day operations, such as optimizing your supply chain.
How can small businesses proceed?
To analyze your data in order to learn what you can do to grow your business, you need technology. But don’t feel overwhelmed by this.
- Recognize that you already have the data. If you’ve been in business for more than one year, your QuickBooks record of sales, pricing, and other information is a good part of your big data. Other data on the weather, economic conditions, consumer spending habits, and other sales-impacting information is available online
- Determine your technology budget. Now that we’re in the final quarter of this year, it’s time to plan your budget for the coming year. Decide how much you can afford to invest in new technology. IDBS found that 36% of businesses are investing or planning to invest in technology for big data.
- Do your research. Identify the technology solutions that will enable you to analyze your date. This may be add-ons to your existing software or cloud-based solutions. You can also use Google Analytics, a free service, to help you examine your web traffic. You may want to use a variety of solutions for optimizing big data.
- Turn to experts. At a loss on how to proceed? IT consultants can advise you on what’s needed for your big data. Alternatively, if you’ve identified a particular question you want big data to answer, you can use experts to do the work for you. Also consider using a company such as IDBS that can help store business data.
Don’t let the word “big” scare you into believing that big data is only for large corporations. Small businesses have the data, can easily obtain the analytic tools, and can utilize the results to grow. Position yourself now to start using big data. And follow the conversation with IDBS on big data and small business at #NurturingData.
This post was created in collaboration with IDBS, a supplier of cloud-based technology that is able to store and process big data. All opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of IDBS.