Can Small Businesses Make Use of Big Data?

“Big Data” is a term that many small business owners across the country have probably heard in the last year or two, but may not know exactly what it is, or what it might be able to do for their firms. However, taking the time to look into the emerging realm might actually help them to improve their bottom lines considerably, as long as they approach it properly.

The ability of small businesses to harness the power of this kind of information is still really only just beginning to emerge, but nonetheless, many might end up having considerable success because it can help them to unlock new ways to reach their target audiences, according to a report from Fox Business. The problem is that it might not always be easy for owners of small companies to know where they can or should begin, because there’s so much out there.

Big Data relies on information aggregated from tens or even hundreds of millions of people all around the world, and then distilled down to be as relevant to a company as possible, the report said. For instance, the purchasing habits of a young adult in China isn’t going to be relevant to firms that cater to older consumers in Iowa, but Big Data can help to narrow the demographic information so that businesses can better connect with their specific desired demographics.

“Small businesses can’t get caught up in the hype,” Steve King, partner at Emergent Research, told the news organization. “They should think about their business and what steps they can take to take advantage of data in new ways.”

Even basic ways can help
Today, only about 1 in 6 small businesses even use the most basic data collection on their customers – names, addresses, email, social media details, etc. – and this information alone can go a long way toward making sure one-time customers become regulars, the report said. In addition, these systems tend to be extremely low-cost, meaning that even the most cash-strapped companies might be able to invest in them as a means of potentially becoming more profitable in the future.

Owners who want to make sure that they can afford such Big Data services might want to first cut costs in other ways, such as by finding more affordable small business insurance policies. For instance, shopping around for more affordable tech insurance could help them save thousands annually.