Meta description: It has been mistakenly thought that big data is a domain of the large enterprises only. Here is how a small business can benefit from big data.
We are in the age of big data. What is big data? Is it any important to a small business? Big data is just that … veeery big volumes of data that is both unstructured and structured, but data all the same.
Information is power, so they say. It seems that in marketing and business, information is money. Therefore, businesses seek to gather as much data as they can so that from the data, they can decipher buying habits, customers’ habits, what visitors do on their website, how satisfied or unsatisfied their customers are, what their competitors are doing, and so on.
Data is crucial to a business. If it is poorly handled, it can cause a lot of confusion and frustration. This is where IT comes in to help you manage your data so that you get the full value of your data bank.
To those who wonder how IT can add value to business, well, one of the ways is to extract as much value from big data as possible and then pass that information on to the marketing department for action.
Is big data mining/analytics fit for small businesses?
Think about it this way … people are talking about your products on social media, but you do not know that because you do not follow everyone on Twitter. If they are not talking about your products, they are talking about their problems and your products can solve some of them. But you cannot generate sales leads if you do not know that people have a need for products like yours!
But big data analytics can show you all that, well, not as big data, but when it is processed, it will show trends, patterns, conversations and event logs. These can be understood by the sales and marketing teams, and they can take action on it.
But then … small businesses find problems when they want to implement big data systems. What happens in the market is that the big data systems that you will find are mostly made for the large enterprises. That makes the systems hard to buy and too complex to implement. However, it does not mean that a small business should forget about getting value from big data. In the market, there are flexible choices for big data systems for small businesses. They just need to know how to get the right system.
How to benefit from big data as a small business
Do not just sit and watch the big boys making money from big data. Get your IT team working to find a system that would be small enough, affordable, yet full of features that will help your business derive a lot of value from big data. Do not listen to the naysayers who say that big data is for big businesses. It is for all businesses!
Find a system that is flexible, a system that allows the small business to use just what they need, and pay for that, as opposed to buying and implementing a huge system meant for large businesses, only for it to go to waste. The very important thing is to make sure the system is scalable so that as the business grows, you can unleash more resources to cater for the data growth.
Probably, it could be hard for the vendor to have a system that is already personalized for small businesses. Thus, the IT team could perhaps see to the customization of the vendor software for big data to fit the needs of the small business.
Let the IT director source for a good system that is simple to implement and to integrate with the existing systems of the business. The implementation of the big data system should not take weeks, a few days utmost should be the maximum. Lastly, the IT director will look for a system that does not require the users to attend long training session, but one that probably comes with an in-built user-guide.
Scalable big data systems, even in terms of cost
Yes, that is right … small businesses should only go for big data systems where the vendor allows them to pay and use just the resources that they need. In future, you can pay for more resources and be assigned more. The vendor system, although small, should be futuristic in design, such that it can accommodate moderate or fast growth of the business in future.