Small businesses are thinking bigger about their data – and it’s about time.
The term big data sounds intimidating – reserved only for the Fortune 500 leaders – but that could not be further from the reality of data analytics in the competitive small business market today.
Previously the exclusive domain of statisticians, large corporations and information technology departments, the emerging availability of data and analytics – call it a new democratization – gives small businesses and consumers greater access to cost-effective, sophisticated, data-powered tools and analytical systems.
For small businesses, big data will deliver meaningful insights on markets, competition and bottom-line business results for small businesses.
For small businesses and consumers, the big data revolution promises a wide range of benefits.
New Tech, New Rules
Today, big data is changing the rules of commerce and business operations, creating opportunities and challenges for small businesses. The convergence of three leading computing trends – cloud technologies, mobile technologies and social media – are creating cost-effective, data-rich platforms on which to build new businesses and drive economic growth for small and large businesses alike. This helps boost local economies as well as global e-commerce and trade.
Digital data will continue to turbocharge the movement to understand analytics, in both small and large businesses. Proprietary data combined with data from the cloud will continue to create new insights and a deeper understanding of what consumers need, what they like and what will keep them happy.
The development of new data sources and unique analytics will drive entrepreneurial growth around the globe over the coming decade.
Today, small businesses can leverage business management solutions, including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software platforms, to automate operational management tasks and keep better watch over their very own big data – including analytical views of sales and marketing campaigns.
Small businesses can stay on top of accounting, cash flow, budgets, balances and more with financial management software alternatives, as well as tools and applications for inventory management, project management, fleet management, human resources and more.
By optimizing real-time data analytics, small businesses today are capturing a better view of their administrative, sales and marketing practices – including real-time overviews of what’s working well and what needs scrutiny. Small businesses mining their own big data today routinely deploy a variety of solutions – most originating in the cloud – to improve operational and administrative efficiency and productivity, while reducing manual tasks and redundancies.
Today, small businesses are no longer intimidated by big data. They are embracing it to create and manage bigger opportunities for growth and profitability.
Today’s competitive small businesses realize that optimizing analytics and business intelligence allows them to recognize the full benefits of their very own big data – powering better marketing, sales and operational efficiency, productivity and functional gains. With data-driven tasks and decisions in the mix, a new culture of small business is emerging, powering greater opportunities for the small business community, its vendors and customers.
Data Photo via Shutterstock
Whilst I agree with everything you say above I think there is still a long way to go in companies understanding and realising the full benefits of Big Data.
– New Tech, new rules.
Absolutely, nearly everything starts on a mobile device today and this trend will continue to grow, certainly in the internet world. This is about to get another shake up with the upcoming Google Algorithm update that may potentially penalise websites that are not optimised for mobile.
– Optimizing insights.
This is huge but I still think there is a severe shortage of people who understand how to sell the value of this to the Small Business Community and deliver results. These is an abundance of free up-to-date data available for every small business owner to use and can give you a real advantage over your competition when used correctly. Again I’m talking about the internet and in this instance you could use Google Analytics and various other free tools to look at the ‘data lake’ of traffic and search information available free online to see what your customers are looking for and make sure your website contains similar to capture some of this ‘traffic’
– Real Time.
This point is where I see the price going up considerably. While the value of real time data is, well, invaluable. Its a lot more expensive for small biz to leverage this to their advantage and you need the whole company to buy into this for it to be effective.
I have spend a long time in the technology arena and was on the front line of many a Big Data conversation. The easiest point of entry for small business in my opinion is via the internet. The data is there, it will drive sales and efficiencies in all small business if use correctly.
Thanks for the great post.
An extremely beneficial big data small business tool is available right here on the Small Business Trends website. If you haven’t tried it out, go to https://smallbiztrends.com/research-your-business