Big data can often seem daunting to many small and medium-sized businesses, but by utilizing it most SMBs stand a great deal to gain. Unfortunately, many businesses today are missing out on the great benefits of utilizing big data because they believe it is too costly or too complex for their business to manage. The truth is that Big Data is neither too costly nor too complex to be of benefit to your small business.
Making use of Big Data doesn’t always require you to invest in massive storage units or high cost hardware for processing data. You have the option to host your data on the cloud and you can also make use of other third party options to minimize your cost. One of the least cost prohibitive sources of data on customers and potential customers is social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and GooglePlus. Even the smallest of businesses can utilize the data from these sites to recognize and predict trends in the market and to analyze their customer’s motivations.
One of the reasons many small businesses (and even some large corporations) are not utilizing big data is because they have little or no idea what it is, how to use it or why it is important to the success of their business. In this article we will, hopefully, cover all three of these points in order to help you understand and utilize the power of Big Data.
What Exactly Is Big Data?
The easiest way to understand what big data is by remembering the three Vs. Volume, Velocity and Variety. Volume is in reference to the size of the data, Velocity references the speed and Variety obviously references the diversity of the data.
When Data is too big, too fast or too diverse to fit in a standard database, it’s considered Big Data. Due to the enormous volume of data available to our networked world many businesses feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume, speed and variety of the data. Trying to weed out the data that can be useful for their business seems like trying to find the proverbial needle in a haystack. Data changes rapidly and has so many diverse components that most businesses simply see it as nearly impossible to make any sense of it; much less finding use for data.
How Can We Make Use Of All This Data?
Simply put, you can’t make use of all the data. You can, however, make use of a small portion of the data. The trick lies in finding the data pertinent to your business. Fortunately there are many tools now available for small businesses that allow them to do just that. Ferret through the big data to find only the data pertinent to the business’s needs. What these tools do is basically capture and organize a vast amount of data, often from several different sources, then translate the data into meaningful. Some of the most valuable big data tools are free of cost. Google Analytics is the best example; Sumall and Sizeup are other options. With just a little research you can find many tools that will enable your business to make use of Big Data easily and inexpensively, just be sure to choose the tools specific to the job you want it to perform.
Why Is It So Important To Use Of Big Data?
Big Data provides your company with a strategic insight into your present and future customer habits. By utilizing Big Data you can effectively track trends, spending habits and geographical locations among others, the possibilities are endless.
Without utilizing big data within your company’s IT structure, you are missing out on a plethora of information that can help you strategically market to potential clients and to give your business the ability to know the specifics of your customers needs and what they’re not interested in.
With big data businesses literally have the world at their fingertips and can predict what people are buying, who they are buying from, why they are buying and when they are buying it. That kind of information is too valuable to overlook for a business, this is the kind of information that will help a company grow and succeed.