What is Big Data and How Can Small Businesses Utilize It

February 2, 2016/

in blog

/by wpengine

Everyone is leveraging big data these days, but how can a small company maneuver a world of SketchNotesBIGDATALSE-01.jpgdata intended for giant mega-companies? The truth is, Big Data has existed for ages, but isn't just for big businesses with even bigger budgets anymore. Now thanks to falling tech costs and new tools that display complex databases, today small businesses too, can reap the benefits of the massive amounts of online and offline information to make wise, data-driven decisions to grow their businesses there are several ways that your small business can gather, analyze and make sense of data you already have. 

What is Big Data?

Big Data is a term that describes the large volume of data (both structured and unstructured) that occupies a business on a day-to-day basis. But it’s not the amount of data that’s important; it’s what organizations do with the data that matters. Big data can be analyzed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves. Aside from this definition, there is a very large difference between what it means to use Big Data, and a company simply having the capacity to store large quantities of information. Big Data is about putting information together, and connecting dots that were not connected in the past.

How is Big Data Relevant to Small Businesses?

When one thinks of Big Data, the mind would probably think volume. But thats not necessarily the case. The role that Big Data plays the new modern era to businesses is an opportunity for businesses to increase their analytics IQ. You can increase your IQ by looking into raw data you can connect the dots between your systems of record and systems of engagement; and much more. 

Data consultant Bernard Marr in the Business Standard eloquently put that, “In many ways, big data is suited to small business in ways that it never was for big business – even the most potent insights are valueless if your business is not agile enough to act on them in a timely fashion. Small businesses have the advantage of agility, making it perfectly suited to act on data-derived insights with speed and efficiency.”

So small businesses should not fear of big data and adopting such blank is no different than what a larger business should use. The competitive advantages for small businesses are the same advantages they can create for large businesses. All companies from SMBs to large enterprises can benefit from a 360-degree view of your customer. Simply put, that means small businesses have access to big data in the same way they have access to big infrastructure through Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, or any other IaaS provider. In the same way they can now lease processing power, they’re no longer locked out of taking advantage of big data because of their size. Its never too late (or too soon) for small companies to start thinking BIG!