The most valuable resource in the world is data. Little wonder the term has become trendy. Up to the point where everyone tries to put it on a product, the same way food companies tag every food item “100% Natural.” For some time, the field of big data was dominated by large enterprises. As a result of this, the demand for highly sophisticated analytics tools increased. This left small businesses behind. In addition, in the past, running data analytics required huge investments in the form of resources, and staff.
Technology now more accessible
As the technology has become more accessible, big data in small businesses has started to become standard practice. We are always producing digital data in one form or the other. Every email we send or open, every like on social media, every digital purchase leaves a footprint. This information can give insights into our preferences.
Companies want to gain insight into customer preferences to better target their audience. The push toward making sense of this information to boost sales is essentially what drives big data. Even though most of the discussion in this field centers around Enterprise solutions, there are still opportunities for small businesses to benefit from such solutions.
The challenge of small business
The most significant challenge that small businesses face when utilizing analytics tools is sample size. Because of the size of your organization, you most likely do not enjoy a large enough customer base. To nullify errors, the data pool needs to be large enough in order to extract valuable insight. Otherwise, you may end up building a model that is incomplete or totally wrong. In addition, small companies do not have enough historical data to analyze their performance. A number of things could be responsible for this. It could be that you are a relatively young player in the market, or your organization has not adopted digital tools.
In spite of these challenges, there are ways small businesses can start with analytics to make sense of digital information. Again, as your customer base is growing, you will need to turn to data analytics to stay competitive and maintain growth. It’s better to start early and make efforts to collect a large sample size.
Integration of cloud-based solutions
Cloud-based solutions allow organizations to create a uniform infrastructure that shares data between different points. For instance, CRM platforms collect data about customers and sales figures. Project management apps file storage and document management systems are some examples of a more extensive corporate system. Today instead of totally purchasing software you can simply get a cloud service subscription and pay for only what you use.
Even a superhero team needs a person who is good with numbers. In reality, data mining and analysis involve intricate math’s that not everyone is conversant with. Having assembled a cloud infrastructure and identified the major pain points, one of your strengths as a small business is agility. In a situation where large enterprises take time because of their structure and processes; they take time to arrive at decisions as small business decision-making can be faster. Considering the fact that data analysis involves real-time processing, as a small business your advantage is in ability to cut down the time needed for approvals. You can be nimble and gain an edge over the large corporations with their politics and bureaucracy.
Today, customers have become more and more overwhelmed with options in the market. More companies are taking advantage of technology; therefore, you need to stay competitive to survive. With expertise on your side, you can implement cost-effective data analytics and business intelligence solutions that will leverage the existing IT infrastructure and bring new opportunities.