Large businesses at one point in time had not only the benefit of size and money on their side but near enough exclusive access to game-changing big data technology. Every day, businesses collect variable quantities of data, ranging from sales information, customer attendance, busy hours and slow hours, etc.
This data is often gathered and stored in spreadsheets, notebooks and digital documents, but as time goes on, the quantity becomes difficult to manage, and identifying trends can be difficult as large amounts of data become progressively more difficult to read. Additionally, as human beings, we can struggle to identify key trends which would provide valuable insight into how business could be improved.
Below, we’ll examine a few ways in which small businesses can access and use big data in an effort to improve operations, achieve growth, and optimize efficiency.
1. Big Data Solutions are Widely Available
Depending on the type of data a business wishes to manage and capitalize on, their goals, and their level of experience, different solutions may be preferred. For businesses operating online, or with an important online component, services such as Google Analytics can be an effective way to tap into otherwise difficult to use data. Google Analytics can be used free of charge for any website with less than 5 million impressions on a monthly basis, which is almost certainly the case for any small business. Using it, determining exactly how users interact with a web page is effortless.
With webpage analytics in hand and presented in an easily understood format, modifying a website to improve it’s weak areas while enhancing its strong areas is much easier than doing so without analytical guidance.
2. Cloud-based Data Management Solutions are Inexpensive
Although the cost of the computer technology required to process big data has dropped dramatically, the cost of storing data in a digital format can still add up over time, especially as larger quantities of data are collected. The best way for a small business to tackle the issue of data storage is by using a cloud hosting solution. Cloud storage has seen significant improvements in recent years, becoming incredibly reliable and easy to use. The cost of cloud storage space is minor in comparison to physical storage drives, and cloud services handle any maintenance necessary to ensure 100% uptime for stored data.
3. Improved Marketing Strategies
Analyzing big data is one of the most effective ways to determine the efficacy of active marketing and advertising efforts. No matter how big or small a business is, marketing can be costly, but big data can reduce costs through identifying which advertising strategies are seeing returns, and which avenues need to be improved, or reduced entirely.
The advent of modern technology has allowed for big data to be processed automatically using proprietary software and special access to databases, and as a result, large businesses could tap into the power of big data, allowing them to make data-driven decisions with lower risk, while still achieving high rewards. Recently, however, big data software has become much more accessible, and just as importantly, affordable, opening the way for small businesses to take advantage of the same big data benefits which were originally exclusive to the realm of large corporations.
Unfortunately, many business owners aren’t yet aware of the benefits of big data, and its newfound accessibility.
4. Data-Driven Decision Making
The ultimate strength of big data is its ability to enable and support data-driven decision making. No matter the aspect of a business’s operations, big data courses can provide valuable information in order to better guide key business decisions. Large businesses and corporations have made extensive use of data-driven decision making for as long as it’s been available, and now the doors are open for small businesses to do the same.
Although big data may inherently sound exclusive to large corporations, that couldn’t be further from the truth in today’s business world. More smalls businesses are discovering ways of utilizing big data every day, and before long, big data will be a staple part of doing business at all of its levels.