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Can Small Businesses Benefit From Big Data Analytics?

Often, they use it better than their larger rivals

26Apr

What every modern business needs in order to thrive is information. The kind of information that provides you with insight into how your customers think, how to create revenue, and what the best ways to manage your business are, is called big data. You may be asking yourself – can small businesses benefit from big data the same way that big names in the industry can? The answer is yes. In fact, small businesses can act faster on the knowledge that they gain from big data analysis, which makes this kind of data particularly suitable for them.

Optimizing business operations

Small businesses can use big data in order to improve their business operations. A business process that produces data, such as customer ordering systems, provides you with the necessary asset that you can use to make improvements and be more effective.

For example, retail businesses are able to use the predictions from the data they gather from their social media channels, weather forecasts, and web search trends. This way they can stock up on the most wanted items, and not miss out on sales. Industrial companies can make their machines data-enabled, connected and able to report to each other constantly. This provides them with the ability to view their operations in real-time, and find ways to improve them.

Spotting trends

It wasn’t that long ago that analyzing and predicting trends was mostly guesswork. Nowadays, BI takes the lead in this process. Recognizing and following patterns and behaviours is necessary for any business in order to predict the future of their products, and know what will affect that future.

There are services such as Trend Hunter and Trendera, which find connections between trending data, and make use of it in order to answer particular questions. Social networks are full of trending topics that enable businesses to have a better insight into what consumers want. Customer behaviour in retail can be measured down to the smallest detail, such as how a person moves around your store. This data can then be compared with things such as economic conditions, time of the year, or weather, in order to learn what and when people are going to buy.

Understanding your customers

Big data enables a business to learn all they need to know about their customers – how they think, why they buy, what their shopping preferences are, what makes them change their mind, and the like. By looking into customer feedback, businesses also have a better interaction with their customers and know how to improve their products or services.

Sources for gathering big data include social media, text analytics, in-house data (such as sales data), browser data, and public data sets (like census data). A particularly useful source of big data is social media networks, as they make it easy and cheap to find niche markets and gain the necessary information from customer feedback.

Finding the right candidates

What is also extremely useful about big data is that it can help you identify talented candidates, find the best channels where you can recruit them, and also enable you to find the best way to engage with the employees that are already working for you. Many businesses produce a lot of useful data, such as productivity data, staff satisfaction data, and figures on absenteeism. Furthermore, businesses have the opportunity to learn more things than ever, including the data from recruitment sites, social media, and sensors in ID badges. All this info provides you with extremely valuable insight.

Improving your business model

Finally, you can make use of big data in order to improve your business model and discover ways to generate revenue. A company such as Facebook has historically generated income from ads. This is a large amount of data on it users, and therefore Facebook is making it available to companies - some of it for free, and some of it for a price. Small businesses can highly benefit from the data that they create via selling data to customers or third parties.

In summation

Predictive analytics experts Picnet Software development Sydney suggest that even though many consider big data, big data analytics and business intelligence to be the tools of major players, small and medium business can benefit from them as well. It can help you optimize your business operations, spot and predict trends, better understand your customers, find talented candidates and improve your business model.

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