What is Big Data? Does it have a role in managing small businesses? Find out!
Big Data seems like it would go hand in hand with Big Business. But is this strictly true? It all starts with understanding what Big Data really is.
What’s Big Data, Anyway?
By definition, Big Data refers to a massive amount of different data points. In conjunction with data analytics, which refers to processing and studying different forms of data, Big Data can be used as a source of information about a business’s performance, customer satisfaction, marketing effectiveness, and more.
What sets Big Data apart from the regular-sized variant? In a word, its bigness. Big Data is really massive. While a small company’s data set might run into the hundreds of thousands of records, the information that comes under the heading Big Data is defined by its volume (bazillions, to put it scientifically), velocity (the speed at which new data comes in), and variety (different types of data). It’s such a tremendous amount of information that, in theory at least, regular business-sized IT systems can’t easily compute it.
As a small business, you might not have the data stream that the big businesses do. But that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from Big Data techniques and tools.
Big Data for Small Businesses
Big Data, on its own, is like a dusty old set of encyclopedias: there’s a lot of information in there, but it doesn’t do anything unless you wade in and start turning the pages. That’s where you get your insight.
Yes, Big Data is designed to work with loads of information. But it can also work quite well with small-business-sized amounts of input. It’s all about the analysis.
What can Big Data do for a small business? Well, look at what it does for large businesses:
Tracks and manages sales processes
Analyzes and improves website user experiences
Engages with customers and builds a stronger brand image, via customer surveys and other tools
Improves workflow efficiency
Optimizes marketing efforts by highlighting which tactics are most effective
Any of these sound good to you? Probably all of them, really. What business, of any size, doesn’t want to reduce wasted time, effort, and money? Who wouldn’t rather hear from customers themselves about what it takes to make them happy? And more sales? Yeah, we’re all into that.
In short, Big Data offers small businesses many of the same tools that their bigger counterparts use. Want to learn more? Check out these articles in PCWorld and Entrepreneur. And be sure to stay tuned to the Techsperts Talks blog for information that your business can use.