How Small Businesses Can Use Big Data
Here are four key benefits of using big data: Many think Big data is useful or accessible only to large businesses and multinational conglomerates. In reality, it is a relative term and can be valuable to small businesses ranging from mom-and-pop shops to start-ups to local entrepreneurs. Mark Troester, global product marketing manager of SAS, shares this simple definition for big data: when volume, velocity and variety of data exceed an organization's storage or computing capacity for accurate and timely decision making.
The Economist Intelligence Unit’s research illustrates in its recent study Big Data: Harnessing a Game-Changing Asset that:
- Over the last year, 73 percent of survey respondents say their collection of data has increased "somewhat" or "significantly."
- Companies self-identified as "strategic data managers”—those with well-defined data management strategies that focus resources on collecting and analyzing the most valuable data—tend to financially outperform their competition (53 percent compared with 36 percent).
- 32 percent of self-identified "data wasters" say they lag behind their peers on financial performance. Only 1 percent of strategic data users report that.
- More than half of companies report that they expect the increased volume of data to improve operations. The second most popular answer (respondents could choose two) was 36 percent expect it to inform strategic decisions.
Here is how small businesses can use big data to make better decisions.
Personalize your in-store strategies by tracking visitors
Small businesses can look for less expensive ways to increase revenue and improve customer satisfaction by asking intuitive questions to 1) understand buying patterns 2) offer the most appropriate merchandise and 3) provide a customized experience that stays with buyers for a long time. By tracking and recording the times of customer visits to your store, noting the days and time periods with heavy and light traffic, you can plan your staffing. By observing the groups of items purchased by individuals, you can understand buying behaviors and plan discounts for bundled offers. If stores get high numbers of mothers, then it would be good strategy pin down their typical shopping days and times and have some extra woman team members to help with kids and allow keep the moms to shop. These in-store strategies will help you to: