How Can Small Businesses Benefit From Big Data?
Big data refers to large, complex, and diverse data sets which grow at an exponential rate. They can come from various sources and include web-based applications, video, audio, sensor, log, and social media files. The data sets are generally beyond conventional database models’ capacity to capture, process, monitor, and manage.
Big Data is of the following types:
This type of big data is easy to process, store or retrieve in the traditional relational database format. It is highly organized and has a definite length. Conventional search engine algorithms can readily accumulate and retrieve this big data type when the need arises. The two primary sources of big structured data are:
- Machine-generated without any human intervention, and
- Human-generated with the aid of computers.
This big data type does not have any identifiable structure orconforms to any specific data model. This makes it difficult for traditional relational database models to access, store, process, and analyze. Its sources could include web pages, images, videos, email reports, word documents, or PowerPoint presentations.
This form of big data does not comply with the conventional structure associated with most relational database models. However, it does have certain tags and other distinct markers. This makes it easy to separate its semantic attributes and enforce a grid of rows and columns in the data. It is known as a self-describing structure, say, database administrators. Common examples of unstructured data are JSON and XML.
Importance of big data for small businesses
There is a common misconception that Big Data is valuable for large corporations only. This is now true. DBA experts say that small businesses also can benefit extensively from Big Data. The proper analysis and processing of big data enable small companies to outperform their competitors in the following ways:
- Minimizes operating cost of developing new and innovative products,
- Streamlines operational processes to boost internal efficiency and productivity,
- Enables top managerial personnel to get better business insights to take correct decisions,
- Identifies and stops fraudulent practices to ensure the financial stability of their businesses.
- Optimizes the pricing strategies the companies adopt to boost revenue generation, and
- Ensures accumulation and better analysis of buyers’ online reviews to provide better services
How should small companies process big data?
The proper processing and analysis of big data open up immense opportunities for small companies. These corporate enterprises can then adopt new business models to gain a competitive edge in the market. In the process, they can boost their revenues and profits. The companies need to understand that working with big data involves the following key actions:
Big data generally comes from diverse and disparate sources. Convention mechanisms the companies use for data integration are not suitable for this data form. Corporate enterprises need to adopt new technology and develop innovative strategies to analyze typical big data sets. Throughout the integration process, the companies’ analysts have to accumulate, process and format the data in the proper form. Only then can the companies use it for their business operations. To know more about the above processes, experts from credible companies say you need to consult specialists in the field of Big Data management.
Big data needs huge storage facilities because of its immense volume. Small companies can opt to use a cloud-based platform or an on-premises one according to their specific needs. Corporate enterprises can store the big data they need in any form they want. However, they need to install and operate the necessary processing engines to work on the data on an on-demand basis. This enables them to use the resources at their disposal optimally.
The time and money small companies invest in big data pay off when they can properly analyze it. Only then can they use the data effectively in conducting their business operations. Moreover, the proper processing of big data helps companies to adopt the latest technologies like artificial intelligence. They are even able to come up with new and innovative business models to boost internal efficiency. It takes them one step closer to dominating the market over their peers in the same business niche.
Guidelines for adopting the best big data practices
Companies should consider the following guidelines when adopting the best big data practices for their businesses:
- Alignment with overall business goals
The proper analysis and processing of big data enable small companies to come up with innovative products. However, these corporate enterprises need to make huge investments in infrastructure and hire the right experts. Only then can the companies get the results they are looking for. This is why they should ensure the processing of big data aligns with their overall organizational goals.
- Implement better governance policies to minimize risk
Companies soon find a shortage of professionals with the necessary skills and experience to work on big data. Moreover, they have to invest huge sums of money in acquiring the right data integration technology. Fortunately, companies can mitigate this risk by formulating and implement a suitable IT governance policy with expert DBA consultants. This policy should highlight how the companies will manage operational expenses and level resources when processing big data.
- Adopt an excellent center approach to optimize knowledge sharing
Small companies should adopt the excellence center methodology to sharing knowledge, managing project communications, and control. They can then evenly distribute the costs of working on an important big data project with their trading partners. The approach allows the corporate enterprises to use their resources and efficiently manage their cash flow position optimally. This helps to keep their finances in order and still develop innovative products to sell in the market.
The key advantages of processing big data to streamlining commercial operations and innovating new products for companies are as follows:
- Big data analytic tools enable them to predict probable outcomes accurately to take better business decisions,
- The analytic tools allow them to study their targeted audience’s buying patterns on social media to ensure better customer service, and
- The tools provide an accurate forecast of how well customers respond to innovative products to boost revenue generation.
Therefore, from the above, it is evident that Big Data plays a huge role in small businesses success. With efficient Big Data management and analytics, these companies can make better decisions when it comes to business growth in the market with success!