While the global economy may be showcasing signs of growth, this is not yet fully impacting on small businesses owners from across the globe. In the UK, for example, credit conditions for independent ventures remain tightly controlled as lenders continue to prioritize the needs of large corporations with greater resources.
This is just one of many issues facing small business owners, however, as they must also embrace innovation and technological advancement for the benefit of their future success. Even then, there is a pressing need to understand modern trends and apply them successfully into their existing business.
How Big Data can be applied to Drive Small Business Growth?
Take the concept of big data, for example, which has dominated the commercial world in recent times and been explored by businesses of all sizes. While the typical small business owner may be aware of big data and its fundamental meaning, however, they do not necessarily understand how it can be applied to improve efficiency and drive customer engagement. With this in mind, it is worth delving deeper into the detail of big data and determining how it can be practically applied to enable small business growth. Consider the following: -
- Big Data Means Different Things to Alternative Types of Business
On a fundamental level, the term ‘big data’ is understood to reference the collation, organization and storage of information for the purpose of developing insight. Although this generic definition is accurate, however, it ignores the fact that big data can mean entirely different things depending on the nature, size and scope of each specific business. This is something that many small business owners often overlook, as they become consumed by the hype surrounding big data and its capacity to store vast and complex data sets.
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While having the capacity to collate and manage huge data sets may be an issue for large or international corporations, this is not something that should trouble small, independent or locally based business owners. Instead, this demographic should focus more on utilizing big data tools for the analysis of existing information and customer details. Comprehensive management suites such as the New York-based 1010data are ideal for achieving this goal, as they can provide a unique insight into relatively small data sets and offer flexible solutions to independent business owners.
- Big Data is a Scalable and Constantly Evolving Concept
When big data first emerged as a commercial concept, it was focused primarily on managing consumer data. This enabled businesses to develop a greater understanding of their customer base, which could in turn be used to create an improved consumer experience and higher levels of engagement. As big data has evolved, however, it has been applied to drive greater levels of efficiency, improve manufacturing processes and even refine an overall business strategy over time.
This underlines that fact that big data is evolutionary, and also scalable for the development of focused information sets. While we may not be talking about huge swathes of information, there is a pressing need for small business owners to integrate new and existing data across multiple areas of their venture if they are compete and grow in the current economy. Resources such as Palantir are perfectly suited to this goal, as they enable independent business owners to organically build their data sets and integrate information in an easy to understand manner.
- Big Data Can be Used Practically to Deliver a Product or Service
While big data will always be synonymous with the idea of collating and analyzing information, the concept behind it can also be used to directly deliver a product or service idea. To understand this in greater detail, it is important to draw parallels between big data and the popular crowdsourcing business model. Crowdsourcing also relies on opinions, information and ideas that are gathered from external sources, although this data is usually used to directly deliver a product or service to market rather than simply gain insight into consumer behavior.
Big data can also be used in the same way, and this may be something that can have a positive impact on the product or service that your small business offers. The social enterprise Bookshare provides a relevant case in point, as its model relies on the collation of print books and literature from around the world which are subsequently adapted so that they are accessible to individuals who are visually impaired or suffer from dyslexia. In effect, this marks big data as a more actionable concept that can bring small business ideas directly to life.