10 Ways Small Businesses Can Benefit From Big Data

Welcome to the age of big data. It can transform the way you do business. Here's a look at 10 reasons why big data makes sense, even for...

The term “big data” refers to the collection, processing, and availability of a large volume of real-time data. These large data sets, gathered internally or from a third party, can be analyzed to reveal patterns and trends that shed light on consumer behavior and engagement.

Here’s a look at 10 reasons why big data makes sense, even for small businesses:


1. Faster and better decision making

This is probably the biggest benefit of big data. The quality and speed of data collection allows businesses to make quicker and more informed decisions. This is particularly important in highly competitive industries. For example, U.S.-based United Healthcare uses big data to gauge customer experience. They convert voice calls into text and looks for indicators of customer satisfaction.


2. Product development

Many businesses use big data in product development. The Phoenix Suns, an NBA team used Verizon’s Precision Market Insights to learn where people attend the team’s games live, the percentage of attendees who are not from Phoenix, how often attendees visit fast food chains, etc. This information has helped the team’s promotion and advertising campaigns.


3. Timely access to data

Research by Informatica suggests that 60% of each workday is spent attempting to find and manage data. Big data can improve productivity and help teams access the right data with ease.


4. Cost benefits

Big data is cheaper than traditional data warehouses and marts. Most companies use big data alongside existing architecture, but the trend is towards big data. Consider outsourcing big data and other services like database management to save money.


5. Holistic and reliable data

Most organizations keep information in silos. For instance, marketing data can generally be found in web, social, and mobile analytics or A/B Testing tools, CRM software, and email marketing platforms, each with a focus on its own silo.

Meanwhile, poor quality data can be very expensive. Simple things like monitoring multiple systems to get customer contact info can save a business money in the long run.


6. Data security

Data security breaches are very expensive. Not only do you lose customer trust, but you could end up in a legal battle. Big data technology and hosting partners offer a secure infrastructure where you can map the entire data landscape and analyze internal threats. For example, big data analytics lets you flag 16 digit numbers – potentially credit card numbers – to prevent credit card fraud.


7. Authoritative data

Most companies have several versions of the truth, depending on the data source. Big data allows businesses to combine different, vetted data sources, to ensure a higher level of accuracy.


8. Actionable data

Research suggests that “Outdated or bad data results in 46% of companies making bad decisions that can cost billions.” Big data is actionable and enables Delta’s baggage tracking app, which allows customers to track their luggage. This benefit has led to increased customer loyalty.


9. New revenue streams

You can sell data to interested parties. According to HBR, “Data can be the ‘missing link’ for a company that has never had access to the side of your customers that only you can see. Even data that may seem trivial to your business, when seen longitudinally over time, could be a prism of insight for another company.”


10. Real-time website optimization

Once you have gained customer insights from big data, you can personalize the look and feel of your website to suit individual visitors in real-time. For example, you can personalize your website based on gender, age, visit duration and geographic location.


Final thoughts

The fact that eBay, Google, and LinkedIn have been using big data since the concept was introduced is proof that there is something to be gained. You should leave dig data analytics to a professional so that you can concentrate on running your business.


This article has been edited. A version of this article originally appeared here.

Sujain Thomas is a data IT professional and writer who works closely with DBA experts to provide her clients with fantastic DBA services to solve their data problems. If you need data IT solutions, she is the person for the job. She enjoys writing on database administration services and other topics in the IT field. Connect with @sujainthomas on Twitter.


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