How Small Businesses Can Leverage Big Data for Success

“Big Data” seems to be the phrase on everybody’s lips these days, and without a doubt, it has revolutionized the business world. Companies are getting valuable insights reading into mountains of data collected from all kinds of sources. Using Big Data simply makes sense, but the very prospect can be intimidating, particularly when it comes to small businesses and startups. One recent survey shows that 35 percent of startups aren’t even considering the possibility of leveraging Big Data or taking into account how much data is being generated every year – such a decision could be disastrous for the future success of a company.

Small businesses may feel that the ability to leverage Big Data is simply outside of their grasp, but Big Data solutions have become much more affordable in recent years. In addition, they’re easier to use and oftentimes automated. In other words, small businesses have every reason to get into the Big Data game now as long as they know how best to use it. Here are just a few ways small companies can truly make Big Data work toward further success.

Provides 360-Degree Customer View

Many Big Data use cases center around the customer. In particular, data gathered on customers can help provide a bigger picture on who each customer is and what drives them to choose certain products or services. This is sometimes called getting a 360-degree view of the customer. From this data, small businesses can create a more personalized customer experience, enabling companies to track the full journey of a person from the moment they first are made aware of a product to the moment they choose to buy it and beyond. The detailed data gathered from this work is quite valuable and helps small businesses create more effective marketing campaigns that target new customers and keep the old ones loyal.

Reduces Customer Churn

Beyond finding out what makes customers tick, Big Data can also be used by small businesses to figure out why customers end up leaving in the first place. In other words, Big Data helps companies predict and even reduce customer churn by as many as 25 basis points. Big data can essentially be used in the effort to calculate how much value a customer brings to a specific business over the course of a lifetime. It can also pinpoint the precise moment when customers choose to not go with a particular product, service, or brand. From there, small businesses can improve their sales tactics, products, and customer interactions to prevent customers from leaving. Keeping current customers with a company can help businesses stay competitive and successful for many years to come.

Measures Sentiment Analysis

Another way Big Data can be leveraged to understand customers is through social media analytics. People love to express their feelings over social media networks, and small businesses can gather data with sentiment analysis to determine what segments of the population are saying about a product or company. From there, they can capitalize on trends and better market their products to specific people. They can even measure responses to their company, which can be made easier if a small business lets customers log in to their website with a social media account.

Improves Internal Operations

Outside of reaching out to customers, small businesses can use Big Data to improve their organizations internally. This can be done by more efficiently managing human resources or by streamlining research and production. Making employees more productive is also a worthy goal achievable with the help of Big Data. Small businesses also find themselves in a unique position to use new tools and technologies more quickly than larger competitors because smaller organizations are usually more flexible and agile. The Internet of Things, for example, is swiftly entering the workplace, and businesses that use it to measure employee productivity can take that data to improve office efficiency.

The possibilities introduced by Big Data are almost endless. Small businesses no longer have to feel like Big Data solutions are beyond their ability to understand. Tools and platforms have improved significantly, and the many ways organizations can use Big Data lead to valuable and impressive results. If a small business can create and execute a detailed Big Data strategy, they won’t have to feel like they’re outgunned by their much larger competition. Leveraging Big Data essentially levels the playing field, providing exciting new opportunities for startups and small companies.

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Written by:
Jonathan Buckley is a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur with a career focus on bringing highly disruptive B2B technologies to market. With a background in econometric modeling and business strategy, Jonathan has lead award winning marketing teams at many notable companies ranging from the three person co-founded garage IoT startup (since acquired) to a NASDAQ 100 networking company (since acquired). Using a balance of art and science in early product introductions, Jonathan and his Team at The Artesian Network, LLC. reliably help companies "Find Your Repeatable Business Model Faster."
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