The concept of “Big Data” is often mistook my smaller companies as a business building component reserved only for large enterprises. While this was true in the not so distant past, innovations in cloud technology have changed the definitions of data access and analysis substantially.
As a result, data-driven decision-making is at the forefront of business trends. The availability of robust data analytics tools and technology makes it possible for companies of all sizes to better understand and leverage their data for insight and growth. Data is making it’s way into every department, from marketing and advertising, to customer service and HR.
But, how big does your business need to be to begin reaping the benefits of Big Data?
Understanding Big Data beyond its buzz worthiness is key to planning how you can harness it in your business.
By definition, Big Data is a massive collection of all details and data about your business (or generated by your company and customers). Data comes from a wide variety of sources, both internal and external, and can come from all types of sources, from customer opt-ins on your website or landing pages, details entered in a mobile app, to banking and other personal information collected for payments, to customer service inquiries, and more.
The true value of Big Data comes through analysis. Your data sets can be analyzed as a whole or in strategic subsets to reveal patterns and trends and give you deeper insight into the behaviors of employees, customers, and clients. This analysis is computerized, making it possible to glean information from large data sets that would otherwise be too large or complex to mine for insights. Many BI software vendors are also leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to automate data analysis and expedite decision-making through meticulous (but fast) analysis of developing business trends and patterns.
Big Data is often met with polarized perceptions. Small companies are often daunted by the concept of data collection and analysis alone, and many shy away, assuming they aren’t yet big enough to embrace data analytics. On the other side of this spectrum are companies that consider data to be one of their biggest areas of opportunity and business growth, making data analytics as a must-have in their business.
The truth though, is that data analytics can benefit any company, of any size due to the customizable (and affordable) options available on the market, particularly cloud-based Business Intelligence (BI) analytics solutions. Cloud-based BI solutions make it possible for small companies to take advantages of the same types of tools that enterprises rely on in their much larger businesses. BI offers competitive advantages for companies of all sizes, giving small businesses more data opportunities much earlier than ever before.
Big Data for Small Business
From the moment your company starts doing business, its generating data. Collecting this data early on, and analyzing it with BI tools can help you scale and grow much more efficiently and quickly through data-driven decisions.
Modern BI tools are available in the cloud that fit the sizing and pricing needs of even small businesses. You can connect your data sources online and begin measuring trends and insights from your laptop or smart, mobile devices. Cloud BI solutions can give your small company a big advantage by supplying some of the same tools that large enterprises use for data analysis, that otherwise would not be affordable for a small business.
Big Data and Enterprise
Large businesses have larger data demands to consider when choosing which BI solution will best fulfill their needs, both in volume of data and complexity of analysis.
Enterprise BI software vendors offer robust suites of tools that are designed to support massive data sets and more robust analytics and data integration points. Enterprise companies have the option of implementing on-site or cloud-based BI tools, but the overall trend in data analytics (particularly as more and more devices become connected to the internet in the IoT) is toward the cloud. Cloud BI tools offer real-time data analytics and advanced reporting configurations that large companies can use to dive deeper into the data driving their company forward.
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