When it comes to analytics, we now have what we call ‘big data’ but what does this mean for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)? Is big data only for the large companies? Today, we’re going to dig deeper into this question and assess the big data opportunities that exist regardless of your industry.
What is Big Data? - Just as the name suggests, big data describes any large data set that can be analyzed to interpret certain behaviors, patterns, and trends. Typically, the data will relate to human behavior and the way in which people interact with the world, technology, a website, etc. Whilst the volume of data can be overwhelming, the most important factor of all is how businesses use it for stronger decision-making and implementing a clever business plan.
Small to Medium Business Big Data - For SMEs, it’s the lack of resources that makes them think big data is an unattainable goal. However, the process should always start with an assessment of the objectives. Before you even go near the data set, you should be asking what you want to achieve from the data. For most SMEs, the overall goal will be customer satisfaction so the data should be used to improve productivity.
In terms of dealing with the volume of data itself, cloud computing might just be the solution SMEs need. Rather than trying to do everything in-house, experts recommend the ‘cloud’ because it’s cost-effective and efficient. Sometimes, companies can display billions of ads per month so big data is important for assessing the relevance of the ads to the user. Using your preferred program, such as Hadoop, large-scale datasets will be produced. However, having the cloud means it doesn’t all have to be done internally. No matter how many new clients you obtain in the coming months, the cloud makes it easy to scale up and down within hours rather than weeks.
This being said, there will always be challenges for SMEs. At all times, SMEs will need to have a handle on all costs because they can quickly spiral out of control. While some cloud solutions charge nearly nothing for storage, they will charge for queries. Of course, the amount of employees you need for big data analysis reduce with the cloud but one dedicated employee might still be needed and finding someone with the right skill set could prove tricky and/or expensive. As you can see, there are definite challenges for SMEs with big data but there are also some big data opportunities.
Here are some simple tips to get started and it starts with knowing your options. By knowing the software and programs available to you, the risk of overspending should be limited. Through using simple programs like Google Analytics, you can find what helps to generate leads and how to better utilize referrals for your website so this could prove to be essential in the future.
In the past, people would place a commercial on the TV and hope that some viewers will be interested in their product and service. Now, it’s all about personalization and targeting your consumers directly and this can be achieved with big data. Once you learn how to embrace big data rather than fearing it, you’ll soon learn which channel is the best for reaching your potential consumers, saving you time and money!