Big Data. Big Deal?

Have you heard the term “Big Data”? Everybody’s talking about it. It’s the latest thing. But what is it? Does your business need it? And you don’t use it, is your business going to get left behind?

Big pause. Big breath.

Now that we’re calm, let’s first talk about what “Big Data” really means. Big Data is really just large amounts of information pieces (like name, age, income, etc.) that are collected and analyzed to identify important patterns, trends, etc. The reason that it’s the hottest thing is because, with today’s technology, it has become so incredibly easy to gather vast amounts of data, analyze it, and generate meaningful business insights. So if you have the power… why not use it? After all, the more you know about your customers, the better you can serve them.

How big is “BIG” in big data?

While the term is thrown around by huge corporations, Big Data doesn’t necessarily have to be millions of pieces of information. It might be data that you, as a small business owner, collect from your Google ads or your website (like the number of visitors to your website). Your Big Data could simply be data collected from a Customer Satisfaction survey that you sent to your customers. The idea behind Big Data is that it is collected, stored, and eventually used to find out something you didn’t know before and make future business decision accordingly. Like the old saying goes, it’s not the size of the Big Data… it’s how you use it.

And used correctly, Big Data can DEFINITELY be a useful and profitable tool for your business no matter your size or industry.

There are a myriad of ways that Big Data can have a huge impact on your business (I will certainly go into more depth on ways to utilize Big Data in future posts). Right now, it’s important to understand that it can do things such as drive revenue, increase profitability, or help you decide if you want to expand your business. Looking at it from a general view, Big Data, and the study of it within your business is really just trying to understand your customers, and your business, better. The term can seem intimidating, but it’s no different than trying to understand how many customers took advantage of a special offer you marketed to your customers.

Do you need to become an expert in math or computers or analytics to take advantage of Big Data? In short, no. In fact, most of you are probably doing a simplified version of Big Data analysis already (remember those Customer Satisfaction surveys you did?). And there have been some amazing tools and software released over the past few years that can help you get deeper into the process if you’d like. And finally, if you really want to leverage the benefits of Big Data, there are companies who you can hire to set up systems to collect and analyze your customer data. The important part is understanding the relevance of Big Data to YOUR business.

I love Big Data and what it can do for businesses of all kinds, but especially small businesses. If you want talk about how Big Data can help your business, or just want to talk business, call or stop by.