Thursday, May 26, 2016

What Can Big Data Do for Your Small Business?

So you’ve realized your company needs to join the big data revolution. There’s much to gain from a deep analysis of your company’s data, and you, as a smart business owner, need to take advantage of the opportunity.

Leveraging big data can give you a competitive advantage, so make sure it’s part of the conversation when you’re discussing company strategies for 2016. Your competitors aren’t going to wait for you to jump on the big data bandwagon, after all. It’s likely that rivals in your sector are already making data-driven decisions to boost their marketing and better their customer communication.

Still hesitant to make the commitment?

Here are 5 tips as you look into a big data solution for your company.

1. Know what you need

Before you dive into big data, know what you’re looking for. What problems do you need to solve?

Ask your staff what troubles them on a daily basis or what problems they’re hearing from customers. Chances are good that there are ways advanced analytics can fix your issues.

Big data solutions like IBM’s Watson Analytics, Google Analytics, or InsightSquared make smart business analytics accessible to smaller companies. These tools would let you do things like unify data analysis projects on a single platform, monitor web traffic, and extract actionable information. 

It might sound complicated, but these technologies can seriously benefit your small business.

2. Use big data to improve operations and customer relations

If your business depends on customer behavior, then big data can be a major boon to your bottom line.

Big data can help you find out why customers leave, calculate how much value a customer brings, or discover the exact moment a customer chooses to purchase your product versus a competitor’s. You can use big data to can improve your relationships with your customers so they stick with you for the long haul.

Big data can also give you information to find better talent or make research and production decisions with more confidence. Data can often show what gut instinct or guessing would miss.

3. Big data isn’t as expensive as you think

Lots of analytics solutions cater to larger enterprises, which makes them expensive and inaccessible to the average small business owner.

Fortunately, there are plenty of companies out there, both large and small, looking to democratize big data to help small business owners find the right tools to get their work done more efficiently.

Make sure you’re only paying for the capabilities you’ll use and that your license will let you scale up as your needs increase.

4. Look for a solution

Make sure the solution you choose is complete, meaning it has everything you need.

Also, make sure it lets you leverage your existing service solutions like Salesforce, ZenDesk, or QuickBooks.

5. KISS (Keep it simple, stupid)

Your big data solution should be relatively straightforward to implement.

You’ll know you’ve found something that works if the solution easily interacts with your existing systems. If you’re constantly calling for IT support, you might have made the wrong move!

The post What Can Big Data Do for Your Small Business? appeared first on Fundera Ledger.

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