It is important for small businesses to consider investing in big data for growth and expansion in the current competitive marketplace where huge volumes of all forms of data are readily available. But the processing of huge data volumes using traditional data management means and solutions could be daunting and inaccurate.
Business owners and marketers need to deploy dynamic devices such as barcode scanners, web analytical tools, and CRM. Small business entrepreneurs and marketers could manipulate big data via its corresponding analytical technology to enjoy a competitive edge in the marketplace.
Benefits to Small Businesses
Big data is no longer limited to large enterprises today with the progressive digital technology made readily available to one and all. Small and new businesses could leverage on the data collected to be part of the market competition; thus, giving a run for their money to the big market players. The marketing costs have reduced dramatically today, which allows small businesses to venture into big data, analytical technologies as there are plenty of budget-friendly tools to be taken advantage of by small businesses.
Market experts recommend that small businesses may benefit hugely with big data as they are able to adapt to the required changes easily and faster than large enterprises; hence, better real-time responses are possible for greater market insights using big data.
Recent market studies reveal ¾ of large enterprises concurring on the power of big data strategy to change business in its operations and results. Big data technology with its strategies is becoming highly attractive for all types of businesses, big and small.
Large Data Analytics
Modern businesses today enjoy many benefits from big data analytics, particularly in the area of product enhancement, lower costs and faster business decisions.
1) Cost Savings
There is quite a high upfront cost in the implementation of large data tools, technology, and strategies in the market for desired returns. However, the long-term benefits are unlimited to attract businesses along this course. The healthcare industry proves to be an excellent player example of large data to reduce operating costs despite the size.
Predictive analytics tools have allowed big players like Medicare and Medicaid Services to prevent a high volume of potential fraud in healthcare in barely 2 years of application. Small businesses are able to lower their operating costs by avoiding unnecessary inventory or having better business partners.
2) Better Decision Making
Another great benefit of big data is its generosity in permitting businesses to enjoy better decision making quickly with promptly processed data for faster insights. This is highly useful for competitive businesses which flow with the latest or upcoming market trends as part of their marketing strategies to enjoy better business returns.
It is noted that the quantum of data a business requires for cost-effective marketing is huge with dynamic processing approaches in generating powerful market insights that would benefit the business. This huge volume of data requires powerful advanced big data technologies in both hardware and software. When the essential technological components are set up properly, the business is able to understand customers better while producing apt products that meet customer requirements and preferences. This would boost branding and company image for the business.
3) Strong Security
A small business could grow in leaps and bounds when it is more focused on manipulating huge volumes of data to enhance its primary capabilities as well as safety and security. There is a real threat with online risks and dangers such as security breaches and cyber thefts. All businesses operate on the web today at 24/7 basis, which makes it more vulnerable for unscrupulous cyber activities to happen at any time from anywhere.
Advanced digital technologies offer cybercriminals to have a field day in attacking weak and poorly maintained security fences to penetrate company databases. Modern and aggressive businesses need to respond proactively to all kinds of possible cyber attacks in a preventive approach in order to protect themselves from a business disaster. Some businesses fail to recover from certain cyber activities if they are poorly secured on data from all weak points in their system.
However, the application of big data with its powerful analytical tools could change the outcome for a business where cyber attacks and risks could be prevented. This would allow smoother business operations with higher consumer confidence for bigger bottom lines to be achieved.
Essential Key Technologies in Big Data
Every small business entrepreneur needs to be familiar with different advanced technologies to store, analyze and activate big data effectively. Various options are readily in the market for entrepreneurs to consider an effective implementation.
- a) Hadoop
This is a supportive framework for large data storage via open-source approaches. When the data is stored, various applications are made available through “clustered hardware”. The clustering commodity hardware makes it possible and easy for big data to be processed by a business despite the huge volume.
- b) Data Mining
This technology allows informative patterns and trends to be captured from big data easily which is challenging via traditional approaches. Data mining allows entrepreneurs to pick up the right data from a vast ocean to make good sense of it in order to generate insightful analyses for better real-time decisions now and in the future.
- c) Predictive Analytics
This is a “partner in crime” with data mining where the artificial is centered in predictive analytics. Business owners could tweak their present strategies through indicating predictions on their business performance based on currently collected data.
- d) Text Analysis and Mining
Every business would be expected to analyze the market buzz from every potential source in pinpointing customer expectations and demands. This could refer to dynamic online platforms such as forums and blogs as well as popular social networks. This approach helps businesses to discover the market take on brands and customers’ support which businesses could readjust their marketing strategies to be more effective and efficient.
Text mining is helpful to all businesses in checking out and managing text data from emails, social networks and blog posts which are online ‘vocal’ platforms for customers and potential business leads.