Data is one of the most important assets of this century. The amount of information is rapidly increasing with billions of active users on the internet. There are over a million tweets sent by the time you finish reading this article  [1]

With the wide penetrability of the internet globally, more and more users rely on it for their personal and professional needs. There are over 6 billion searches on Google every day. [2] Data is paramount and essential, yet it’s primarily considered the play-field of big tech giants. While big tech organizations such as Google and Meta have access to billions of data, big data is helpful for small businesses. Small businesses can leverage data and use it to drive their growth further.

Importance of Big Data

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Improving Operations

Big data is also being utilized more and more to improve corporate processes and day-to-day operations. Any business process that creates data may be used to enhance the process and achieve efficiency.

Retailers may use projections derived from social media data, web search trends, and weather forecasts to enhance their stock keeping. Predictions help retailers stock up on the most popular things, guaranteeing that they don't lose out on sales while lowering the quantity of unsold inventory.

Another business function that benefits significantly from big data analytics is supply chain or delivery route optimization. GPS and sensors are used to track products or delivery trucks and improve routes by incorporating real-time traffic data.

Conducting Competition Analysis

Understanding your competition used to be restricted to industry gossip or browsing rivals' websites or stores. It is now possible to find out what your competitors are up to without having to leave your desk; financial data is easily accessible, Google Trends may offer insight into a brand's popularity, and social media analysis may reveal consumers' sentiments.

Twitter is an excellent place to start. All of the data you collect may be compared to your brand. Remember that your competitors now have easier access to more information about your company than ever before. There's no getting around it, but you can remain ahead of the curve by staying current on the newest big data technology and applications.

Strategizing Business Models

Data can potentially become a component of your company strategy, resulting in innovative new revenue streams. Today, small businesses have various data monetization options, including delivering value-added services or selling data to consumers or third parties.

We may try to forecast where things are going by seeing and monitoring behaviors and trends, how demand for our products or services will change over time, and what will cause that shift. Until recently, trend analysis and forecasting were frequently based on 'gut instinct.' Big data is now removing a lot of the guesswork from the process. Today, trending topics appear on Facebook and Twitter, making it easier to figure out what people want.

Customer behavior in retail, online and offline, can be studied down to the smallest detail - even how someone wanders across an actual and online store. A complete picture of what consumers will buy and when can be obtained by combining this data with external factors like the time of year, economic conditions, and weather.

Benefits of using Big Data as a Small Business

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Competitive Advantage

Small companies may now focus on the preferences of local clients thanks to big data. Data tools remove the uncertainty from zooming into the local market and give insight into purchasing patterns. Data tools filter through clients’ digital behaviors, reducing the amount of human labor required by small firms. Small companies can add a personal touch and get a competitive edge if they have a thorough understanding of how their consumers think and what they like and hate..

Improved Decisions

How a small business charges its goods and services may significantly influence whether it succeeds. Data tools can assist in evaluating a company’s finances and determining how its price compares to its competitors. Small firms may use data to assess if they should raise or cut their pricing and ensure that current prices are competitive.

Increased Revenue

Small companies may use big data to learn about their clients’ attitudes and buying inclinations. Businesses may use this data to understand better how to personalize their products and services to provide customers exactly what they want, resulting in increased sales.

Reduced Costs

Small firms must be efficient to cut expenses. Small firms may use big data to get the information they need to discover inefficiencies in their operations and, as a result, fix them.

Best Tools for Small Businesses

Now that you’ve understood the importance of big data and how you can leverage the data for your business growth, some tools can help you with data management.

Google Analytics

You don’t need any sophisticated, expensive software to start collecting data. It may begin with a resource you already possess: your website. Small companies may use Google Analytics, Google’s free digital analytics platform, to evaluate website data from all touchpoints in one location. You may use Google Analytics to extract long-term data to highlight patterns and other helpful information so you can make informed decisions based on facts.

You may also monitor social media traffic, allowing you to tweak your social media marketing strategies depending on what’s working and what isn’t. Studying mobile visitors can assist you in extracting information about consumers that visit your site on their mobile devices to improve the mobile experience. [3]

Alteryx

Alteryx offers robust data mining and analytics solutions that provide information clearly and understandably. Alteryx combines your company’s internal data with publicly available data to help you make better business decisions. You may use these insights to create graphs, tables, and interactive presentations from the dashboard. It also features group discussion capabilities and collaboration tools. Alteryx may deliver department-specific data, such as marketing, sales, operations, customer analytics, and business data. [4]

SAS

SAS converts your data into insights that help you make better decisions and gain a new perspective on your company, whether you’re a small, medium, or big company. Many of the same difficulties confront small and midsize companies (SMBs) as they do giant corporations. SAS’ simple analytics, automated forecasting, and data mining help organizations with limited resources get more done with less. These insights assist businesses in overcoming obstacles to expand and compete. [5]

Kissmetrics

You can develop, manage, and automate the distribution of single-shot emails and continuing email campaigns based on client behavior using Kissmetrics. Beyond opens and clicks, the platform assesses the effectiveness of campaigns. Kissmetrics for E-Commerce is a new product from the firm that aims to boost your Facebook and Instagram ROI, lower cart abandonment rates, and encourage repeat purchases. [6]

Conclusion

To grow your business, you need a thorough understanding of the latest trends and customer needs. The trends are evolving; thus, it becomes helpful to stay up-to-date. With data, small businesses can understand the market better and take steps in the right direction, leading to the company’s overall growth.

With many tools available in the market, and widespread data availability, it becomes wise to adopt steps in your organization for maximal growth.

References:

[1] Twitter Usage Statistics, https://bit.ly/378GNbV.
[2] The Stupendous World of Google Search Statistics, https://bit.ly/3JvtP5c.
[3] Google Analytics, https://bit.ly/3736efg.
[4]  Alteryx, Unleash the Potential of Analytics for All, https://bit.ly/3KvB4vd.
[5] SaS, Resilience informed by AI and analytics, https://bit.ly/378H92f.
[6]  Kissmetrics, Advanced Product and Marketing Analytics, https://bit.ly/37wlYqP.