used with permission from HP Technology at Work
Buoyed by the proliferation of the internet, smartphones, social media and other digital outlets, the Big Data revolution is afoot.
Big Data—the fingerprints pulled from social media, internet searches, blogs, credit card transactions, GPS signals, sensors and other digital avenues—has created millions of data points and, in the process, created immense opportunity for businesses. From Amazon recommendations and targeted advertisements from major retailers, to predictive models fueling product development efforts, Big Data’s emergence has allowed businesses to observe customer behavior and make the informed decisions that power results.
Yet, many small businesses continue to dismiss Big Data as a distant, out-of-reach business practice too intimidating, too expensive and too time consuming to incorporate.
Seemingly the domain of Fortune 500 corporations and large government entities, Big Data holds as much relevance for the small business as the multinational enterprise and represents a game-changing development capable of accelerating any firm’s trajectory.
Here are five ways Big Data can impact your business:
1. Develop key market insights. Rather than relying on one’s gut or anecdotal evidence, Big Data delivers objective information that can help reduce uncertainty, create predictive models and craft data-driven solutions. As a result, you can gain a competitive marketplace advantage by offering in-demand products and services and reaching consumers at optimal times.
2. Improve marketing decisions. Big Data provides real-time insights on what your customers are enjoying as well as who is buying what, when and where. Armed with this data, you can make quicker and more intelligent decisions on market opportunities and ways to attract customers. For instance, you can learn the greatest source of your website traffic and discover new places to market, groups to target or value-added content to develop.
3. Better engage customers. Big Data provides telling insights into customers, which will allow your business to personalize the customer experience with relevant and timely special offers, products and services aimed directly at specific individuals or groups. Big Data will also help you assess when your communications have the greatest impact as well as what new products, services or line extensions might be most desired by customers. Such insights can bolster conversion rates, repeat business and revenue gains.
4. Create a smarter workplace. Big Data consolidates information from various business areas, such as sales, staffing and inventory, in a centralized manner. The resulting insights can prompt informed decisions about marketing, supply chain management, operations, labor and more. You can then direct time and energy into the efforts proven to propel performance.
5. Boost the bottom line. With more substantial business insights, including a better understanding of target customers, workplace efficiencies and customer needs, your business can secure greater revenue, reduce costs and enjoy heightened profitability by capitalizing on the profit-driving opportunities that fuel performance and growth.
Big Data, small businesses and the road ahead
Intrigued by the allure of Big Data, more and more small businesses are expected to invest in Big Data technology in the coming years, efforts that will be assisted by the development of various user-friendly tools allowing small businesses to collect and analyze their mounting data just like a major corporation. With Big Data technologies becoming more accessible, small businesses will gain the resources to achieve organizational objectives, enhance competitive positioning and advance the business.