You may or may not be familiar with the current buzz surrounding “Big Data.” The insights small businesses gain from Big Data are crucial to their success. However, because data scientists (experts in deriving important information from Big Data using statistical methods) tend to be an expensive labor consideration, small businesses are often left out of the highly beneficial Big Data science loop.
Since data is your number one source for segmenting your customer base, targeting their needs, and positioning your business to increase ROI, understanding the what and how of leveraging Big Data will give you an edge over your competition. With this in mind, we’ll be presenting a series of blog posts that will help you tame the Big Data beast.
What is Big Data?
In the 21st Century, just about every device imaginable is connected to the Internet. Phones. Cars. Refrigerators. Heart monitors. Cash Registers. All of these machines transmit data and are stored on servers. As such, they are the source Big Data’s main characteristics:
- Volume: According to IBM, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. And that number is only growing.
- Velocity: Data streams in at an almost instantaneous rate. Quick decision making is needed to decide what data is actionable, and what is merely noise.
- Variety: Emails, Tweets, Facebook posts, videos, audio files are different varieties of data. Each must be changed into a format that humans and machines can quickly read and extract the most important information – which also increases its complexity.
- Variability: Data can be seasonal, or it ebbs and flows on a daily basis depending on what events are prompting more activity around the world. For example, during the FIFA World Cup, data tends to spike upward as people chat on about all things soccer related.
How is Big Data Used in Business?
The more you know and understand about what consumers are demanding – whether you’re B2B or B2C – the better you’re able to meet those demands and innovate. After the data is gathered and organized, businesses use the data in the following capacities:
- Create predictive models
- Discover ideas for new products or services
- Manage customer satisfaction for current products and services
- Detect fraud or cyber attacks
- Generate new sales leads
- Nurture a newly developing customer segment
Big Data Benefits
Throughout the blog series, you’ll be introduced to more in-depth aspects of how you can achieve the benefits of Big Data. For now, here are a few to consider as you join us on the Big Data for Small Business journey:
- Streamline operations for greater efficiency.
- Cut costs while still maintaining high quality.
- Increase customer engagement.
- Find the right employees or independent contractors.
- Strategically position your business to dominate its market share.
There is no business too small that can wrangle the powerful benefits of Big Data.
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