Did you know, companies only analyze 12% of the data they have?For ages, enterprises have been collecting critical business data to run their day-to-day business tasks, but most of it was trapped in handwritten ledgers, random files, emails, legacy applications, and siloed systems. Data that had the potential to transform business decisions but was untapped and inaccessible. This has changed, and today, it is impossible to ignore big data small businesses!
If they could draw insights from their data, small companies couldconduct more efficient and effective operations, forecast demand better, streamline operations, increase revenue, and enhance customer satisfaction.
Not just for the biggies
Big data is not about having vast amounts of data. It’s about assimilating relevant, high-quality data that is specific to your business, and knowing the right questions to ask – to make your business better and to predict future trends. It might seem that big data only makes sense for large corporations with massive amounts of data, access to multiple data sources and the time, money, and resources to define and execute a big data strategy. But big data offers many benefits for the little company too.
In today’s highly competitive business world, if businesses don’t respond quickly to changes in technology, customer demands and market trends, yourun the risk of being left behind. Basing business decisions on experience and intuition can only take you so far in anultra-dynamic business landscape. It is by mining relevant data that you can unearth great insights and pick the right path.
With falling tech costs and new tools that have the ability to display complex data in the form of dashboards and reports, smaller companies too can unlock many more secrets from their business data. The more you know about the factors impacting your business, the better the decisions you can make, and the better the organizational performance will be. Without big data, you may know who buys what from your company, but you will never understand why they buy from you, or what drives them to choose your products over your competitor’s.
But when it comes to the challenges of collecting and analyzing big data small businesses, very often, feel like they’re in a boat without a paddle – struggling to make it ashore.
How small businesses can benefit
One-third of all data is expected to be stored and analyzed using cloud computing by 2020. That apart, today several comprehensive big data small business solutions are being offered on the cloud. This allows you to use the solution-as-a-service and pay as you go – without worrying about purchasing expensive hardware, hiring a costly data expert or trying to deploy complex algorithms on your own. With massive investments being made in creating cloud data storage and analytics systems for small businesses, today, even the little company can easily get access to centralized data and highly-functional analytics solutions.
You will be able tobase criticalbusinesses decision on actionable insights derived from deep within the data. It’s possible toanalyze social media conversations and combine it with your sales data to discover new trends or sales opportunities. You couldtrack how shoppers behave in your retail store and engage with them appropriatelyto improve your conversion. There are many ways for you to leverage big data for your little company and compete with your bigger rivals:
- Get demographic data on each website visitor using free or low-cost online marketing analytics tools and leverage this information to prepare highly targeted marketing campaigns to boost website traffic.
- Receive high-quality information faster, adapt to real-time changes, and make adjustments easier as compared to bigger corporations that often struggle due to stricter compliance norms and more traditional workplace hierarchies.
- Give employees new tools to perform their jobs better, eliminate inefficiencies and human bias, enrich service offerings with new knowledge, and strengthen client relationships.
- Build customer profiles based on the data you gather about them; understand their unique needs and wants, and drive efforts to maximize overall customer value. The more you know about your customer, the more effective your personalized relationship will be.
- Derive deep insights across information-pricing histories, market trends, supplier relations and more to better position yourself better.
- Make business decisions from the data that’s drawn not just from your business applications, social networks, and databases but also from increasingly specialized information sources such as call center transcripts and smart sensors – in a highly affordable manner.
- Zoom in on the preferences and likes/dislikes of your local customer base, and team the insights with a personal touch, to achieve significant benefits compared to your large competitors.
- Make the most of self-service tools to enable front-line action driven by the insights. With visualization, view data sets in attractive visual formats, ask the right questions and drive better actions.
- Develop a clear data strategy to identify problems sooner, reduce risk, and create a competitive advantage.
Boost business outcomes
In a world that’s neck-deep in data, the tools for big data have never been easier to leverage or access. With reports suggesting that 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years alone, big data is already being exploited by big businesses for better decision-making. For many small businesses, however, the use of big data technology has been largely out of reach due to budget limitations and a dearth of in-house technical expertise. However, technology advancements in analytics and the availability of big data over the cloud has now made big data accessible to small businesses as well. Big data now offers small businesses opportunities to drive growth and innovation and transform their bottom line. These small businesses can now achieve fantastic insights that will enable them to compete better with your larger counterparts, and boost business outcomes like never before.