Lately, you’ve probably come across buzzwords such as big data, big data analytics, business analytics, business intelligence, etc. You’ve likely wondered why big data is even relevant for a startup or small business.
What’s all the fuss about?
Big data is king for small business
Paul Maritz, CEO of EMC Federation, explains, “Businesses have been realizing that big data is more than a ‘nice to have’. It is critical to surviving and prospering in an increasingly digital world.” In fact, “big data can be utilized to drive productivity, enhance existing revenue, and even create entire new lines of business, based on new business models.”
“We live in a fast-moving, complex world of increasingly connected people and connected things that are creating vast new digital footprints. To thrive, organizations need to make sense of this big and fast-moving data, to gain real-time access to powerful insights and deliver them to the point of action.” — Capgemini
Here is an inside look at prominent reasons why big data is the talk of the town. More importantly, how startups can tackle data analytics and stay ahead of the curve.
1. Real-time business insight
Big data delivers real-time insights from unstructured silos of data. In fact, many companies not only use data warehousing solutions to manage pools of business data, but also to tweak systems and create custom applications that suit their needs.
“If you can obtain all the relevant data, analyze it quickly, surface actionable insights, and drive them back into operational systems, then you can affect events as they’re still unfolding,” says Maritz. While, business data analysis is the need of the hour to ensure data is usable and understandable. Simply accumulating and storing data isn’t a strategy and it won’t drive profit.
2. Improved productivity and efficiency
Another reason why businesses are embracing big data analytics is to fetch insights that aid in better decision making and productivity. For instance, an e-commerce startup can significantly boost sales through product recommendations, discovered from previous purchase data.
Meanwhile, from manufacturing and banking to retail and automotive industries; most businesses can increase revenue by leveraging real-time business data to drive efficiencies.
According to Sweden, Telco, “Innovation as a means of cost cutting is very important. Data can allow us greater efficiency in working out how and where to cut costs and also streamline marketing so as to not waste money. We can also save man hours in customer services by using big data to identify relevant data points.”
3. Data availability is expected to surge
The rise of the data marketplace is upon us. The availability of data is expected to see a steep surge in the next few years. Increasingly, customers are bypassing privacy in exchange for personalization.
For instance, getting coupons for products that a customer is likely to purchase triggers a win-win situation for both the customer as well as retailer. Either way, big data is catching up the heat fast and is here to stay.
How to tackle big data analytics
Companies that will benefit from the continued rise of big data exhibit two common traits. First, they bring people together from across the company – including various business functions to engage with the big data agenda. Second, they seek out key talent to execute on their strategy.
However, it can be quite challenging to find the right analyst. Nevertheless, the big data analytics job market will thrive. In order to turn your business into a data-driven enterprise you’ll need to find the right talent.
Groom your team on big data
Many people are still oblivious about the big data revolution and it’s potential to transform business. So, it’s time to hone your knowledge about big data. upheaval by visiting conferences, summits or skimming through the various articles and blogs available on the World Wide Web. A good start indeed.
Identify your big data needs
Big data is not just about the volume of data you gather. Rather, it is more about finding cost-efficient methods of to process it and receive insights to drive informed business decisions. For instance, marketing with bad data is costly. it could benefit you to mine customer data on the basis of gender to assist with sales forecasts. The more variations in data you plan to collect, the more intricate analytics will become.
Seek out data analytics expertise
Big data is not child’s play. Most startups will lack the resources to build out an analytics team from scratch. So, it’s wise to rope in (hire or outsource) experts. Data analysts go beyond the collection and synthesis of data. The right talent will help you figure out where potential opportunities exist; the information required to effectively analyze your processes; and how to leverage data to improve operations and strengthen your business strategy.
Analytics without intelligence is futile. Big data analytics is more like a suite of tested tools and methods executed by expert business analysts to help make sound and well-informed business decisions.
In an increasingly digital and complex business environment, data analytics and business intelligence are essential. These disciplines will help you understand how you’re performing, and where to go from there. Big data and analytics will drive innovation and transformational change. Is your business ready or will you be left behind?
This article has been edited.
Anwar Shaikh shares business perspectives on enterprise management, business intelligence and analytics software; including CRM, ERP and payroll solutions. He writes on behalf of Sage Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a leading provider of cost-effective and user-friendly business management solutions to small and mid-sized businesses in India. Connect with @sageindia on Twitter.