Small business people are busy people. You’re hiring staffers, balancing your business’ budget, creating new services and developing marketing campaigns. You’ve also the person in charge of setting your business’ hours and scouting out new locations for expansion. So you’re probably not delighted that business experts are letting you know you need to study big data, too, to have a competitive advantage. You might not even know what big data is — many people don’t. But that does not mean that it’s not important to the success of your company.
Defining Big Data
What is big data? John Weathington, writing for Tech Republic blog, does an excellent job explaining: Big data, as the name suggests, are massive quantities of fast-moving information. This information is free, but serves a very important purpose in the marketplace. Big data, if effectively mined and studied, can let you know what your target customers want, what they lack and how much they’ll be willing to pay to get it. In short, big data can advise you how best 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 uses large financial data sets and data analytics tools to help clients decide how to best plan their retirements. This, not surprisingly, gives this financial firm an edge in attracting new clients.
Exmobaby uses big data to attract parents who would like their babies to be as healthy and well as possible. The business sells pajamas that include built-in sensors. These sensors monitor the babies wearing the pajamas and sends health information in real time to parents. It’s easy to see how big health data sets can 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 to those colleges that are most likely to accept them. By using big sets of data to save their customers both time and disappointment, Parchment is able to steadily build its customer base.