Small business owners: It’s time to meet big data

Small business owners are very busy people. You’re hiring staffers, balancing your business’ budget, creating new services and creating marketing campaigns. You’ve even the person in charge of setting your business’ hours and scouting out new locations for expansion. So you’re not delighted that business experts are letting you know that you must study big data, too, to have a competitive edge. You may not even know what big data is — plenty of people don’t. But that doesn’t mean it’s not important to the success of your company.

Defining Big Data

What is big data? John Weathington, writing for the Tech Republic blog, does an excellent job explaining: Big data, as the name suggests, are massive amounts of fast-moving information. This information is free, but serves a valuable purpose in the marketplace. Big data, if effectively mined and studied, will tell you what your target customers want, the things they lack and just how much they’ll be ready to pay to have it. In short, big data can advise you the best way to run your small business.

Big Data In Action

Big data gives businesses, even small ones, a competitive advantage. CIO Magazine provides three examples. The magazine cites a financial firm that utilizes large financial data sets and data analytics tools to help clients decide how to best plan their retirements. This, of course, gives this financial firm an edge in attracting new clients.

Exmobaby uses big data to attract parents who want their babies to be as healthy and well as possible. The company sells pajamas that include built-in sensors. These sensors monitor the babies wearing the pajamas and sends health information in real time to their parents. It’s easy to see how big health data sets help this company attract the business of anxious parents. Finally, the CIO story cites Parchment. This business analyzes such education information as grade point averages, SAT scores and college acceptance data to help clients apply for those colleges which are most likely to accept them. By utilizing big sets of data in order to save their customers both time and frustration, Parchment is able to steadily build its client base.

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