Planning is important for any business, startups especially. The uncertainty of a startup’s trajectory makes preparation essential for navigating choppy waters. During the startup and planning phases, some startups make the mistake of not implementing big data into their business plan. In reality, big data can be extremely influential in a startup’s success.

Big data can act as a catalyst for startup success, with big data that’s driven by valuable insight on consumer and market behavior leading to more effective decision-making. Big data is relevant to various spectrums, including inventory management, customer service, advertising, marketing and general operations. Advertising and marketing, specifically, can be a costly endeavor for startups, which can get more bang for their buck by incorporating big data into the process.

Five reasons startup can’t afford to ignore big data are:

1. Driver of Strategic Growth

Even if a startup has a fantastic product or service, the resources involved in creating that product will go to waste if the startup does not find the optimal target market to engage. Big data plays a massive role in the identification and prediction of behaviors in a given market. Startups can utilize big data that provides a comprehensive overview of certain markets, analyzing whether investing marketing resources in the market is worthwhile.

Big data incorporates aspects of competitor analysis, social feedback and sales data, simultaneously aiding the process of finding the ideal customer base and refine a product, so it appeals to existing customers. Big data looks at customers’ behavior and preferences to help determine their buying patterns, with complex analysis incorporating that data with relevant sources like analyst reports, market trends, Line of Business applications and social media activity.

2. Greater Productivity

Efficiency plays a role in dictating the success of startups, which lack the flexibility of larger, more established businesses. Every second is essential for a startup that’s competing against the odds to meet a deadline. Fortunately, the utilization of big data can help increase productivity in startups.

In addition to reducing advertising and marketing time and resources by honing in on optimal audiences, big data’s embrace of unlimited scalability and live data enhances a business’s agility in reacting to shifting markets. For example, a product launch can incorporate big data and a cloud-based infrastructure to drive automated, real-time updates on social media to aid in targeting for marketing and advertising.

Big data helps startups increase their market share through its comprehensive analysis of market trends and ability to collaborate with a cloud-based infrastructure to aid in real-time updates.

3. Reduced Cost of Indirect Expenses

Calculating expenses can be cumbersome for startups, who may lack expertise in the area. Fortunately, startups can use big data to reduce indirect expenses, such as utilities, filing, office technology, insurance, professional services and rent. Big data helps with the automatic tracking and analysis of information, helping to spot larger trends. In analyzing data related to indirect spending, big data can help discover actionable insights that can help cut costs and boost your bottom line.

4. Useful Analysis of Social Behavior

Startups need to use social media to their advantage. Social media contains a bundle of big data goodness regarding customer behavior, helping to monitor brand progress. Social media analytics provide big data that examines aspects like impressions per post, interactions on desktop instead of mobile, comments, retweets, likes and transactional history to provide a comprehensive overview of a brand’s current trajectory. It can also determine where it stands compared to the past.

Big data on social media extends well beyond your startup’s pages, as well. Big data analyzes the users on your startup’s social media, digging into their profiles to find their interests and other personal identifiers. Big data provides a comprehensive look at a market that seems naturally inclined to engage with your startup on social media.

5. Effective Automation

Big data can help dictate what precisely a startup should automate. For example, it makes sense to automate the process of predicting customer preferences, instead of forcing employees to do so manually, one by one. Big data can easily accommodate personalization, digging into previous customer behavior to predict preferences and personalize their user experience as a result. Social media tracking, competitor analysis and sales report studies can help identify buying patterns of a target audience

Whether you’re tracking big data from your website traffic with Google Analytics or on social media with Hootsuite, this data can provide essential insight in making marketing and general outreach efficient and effective.

Startups that utilize big data have the upper hand on startups that do not. Big data can elevate a startup’s marketing and advertising efforts by honing in on the ideal market, in addition to providing insight on social media behavior and indirect expense costs. Big data helps startups provide an overview of their current trajectory, with startups using this data to make the most optimal decisions in the present and future.