In the past few years in particular, many small business owners have likely heard all about how Big Data can help their companies succeed in ways they might not have considered before. However, many may see the task of beginning to rely on this kind of information as being somewhat daunting, or costly, and experts now say that simply isn't the case.
Depending upon what it's being used for, Big Data can basically be used to fit any smaller company's budget and needs these days, according to a report from the New York Times. That's because it's not just related to information about how to better connect with prospective customers or clients, but can be used for other things that could actually end up saving businesses money. Moreover, as technology advances, the ways in which it can be used makes it easier for owners to share and understand internal data.
"You don't need a degree," Ramon Ray, co-creator and host of the annual Small Business Summit, where entrepreneurs meet with technology and marketing experts, told the newspaper. "You don't need a manual. You can drag and drop spreadsheets, upload a file – even from your phone. If you have fleets of vehicles, you run those vehicles better; you can staff better, because you know where your employees should be, and when. The new tools provide better customer insights, so you know better what to sell them or what not to sell them; you can see which of your products has the best profit margin. You don't have to do things on gut check anymore."
What does it cost?
Again, the perception is that all the kind of data can be very expensive to obtain, but the fact of the matter is some companies very much keep things affordable, the report said. For as little as a few dollars per month, some providers can do something as simple as automatically monitor email accounts, Facebook feeds, Yelp reviews, and more, and collate them all into reports that owners can use to identify potential areas of improvement for their companies.
In addition, entrepreneurs might want to find their own ways to cut costs as well, because this might help to improve bottom lines and give them more flexibility to spend on other ways to improve their firms. That might include finding more affordable small business insurance policies, including those for commercial insurance, to save as much as a few thousand dollars annually.