Since about a decade ago, big data and analytics have been two of the business world's most notable buzzwords, discussed vigorously in boardrooms, media trend pieces and just about everywhere of relevance in between. Now that they are more established as a common tool, small- and medium-sized business owners who didn't adopt such methods early on should spare no time in bringing them to bear now.
"Big data can be hugely beneficial to companies of all sizes."
Here are a few of the major ways in which data analytics has been most valuable to SMBs of late:
Improved demographic analysis
Identifying commonalities among consumer groups and leveraging them accordingly represents one of the most commercially viable analytics-based techniques for any business. According to Forbes, this ranges from knowing what people belonging to different age, gender, cultural and societal categories are buying from a given company to tracking factors like social media engagement and website traffic.
There is no reason why SMBs can't do all of this, and benefit from it, simply because the number of individuals within each customer demographic will be smaller. Using the information appropriately is simply a matter of making calculations at the correct scale.
SMBs may not have marketing opportunities quite as robust as larger companies, but this only means making the most of them is even more important. Analytics permit this, due to the aforementioned information collected about consumer purchases. It can also help businesses determine which marketing channels will be most likely to attract - or put off - particular audiences. Such predictions may not end up perfectly accurate, but analytics platforms have been refined enough over the years that their conclusions are always worth putting to the test.
Efficient and successful collaboration
In a small business, people are ultimately the greatest asset the organization has at its disposal. The collaborative possibilities facilitated by big data platforms, in conjunction with the cloud, can help smaller companies make the best possible use of their personnel, according to TheNextWeb. This will allow such organizations flexibility they never had before, allowing for simpler sharing of project data and possibilities like telecommuting that might not have been feasible before.