“Big Data” is synonymous with huge organizations housed in tall, looming skyscrapers. They buzz around and ask questions like, “What will our shareholders think?” and “Is the jet ready for our Tokyo meeting?” They have billion-dollar budgets to support their data-driven strategies. Fortunately, accessing big data is easier and cheaper than ever. This means smaller companies can use similar tactics to gain a competitive advantage. Unconvinced? Here are 4 reasons why big data works for small business:
Simplifies Business Processes
Complex processes and organizational silos plague small businesses. Employees often bounce from one fire to the next, putting out what they can without guidance or a plan. This is where big data comes in. Maybe the IT department spends too much time troubleshooting small issues that could be automated, leaving more time to handle major network concerns. Perhaps communication between sales and marketing is inefficient, leading to double entries and conflicting strategies. Big data applications provide a comprehensive picture of how information is shared and used within your company. This helps with automating processes and streamlining workflow. Applications such as Hubspot are great for customer management, and software like Kissflow simplifies those day-to-day tasks. With any luck, your IT department never has to ask, “Did you turn it off and on again?”
Minimizes Company Costs
Big data saves money. By improving communication between sales and marketing, sales spends more time generating leads while marketing nurtures them. You may also discover expenses that do not boost your bottom line. Perhaps that annual holiday campaign is no longer performing, or you are paying for web features that do not increase conversion. There are free tools such as Google Analytics and Google Trends that provide useful insights about online customer engagement and current market trends. You can compete like the big dogs without the price tag.
Improves User Experience
Creating excellent user experience is essential for any small business. Small businesses often rely on surveys and past experiences to determine what their customers want from their business. While these strategies are useful, it is not a complete picture. With big data, small businesses can see in real-time where their customers are most engaged and where they lose interest. Channels and touchpoints can be optimized to improve conversion and retention rates. Combining this knowledge with historical data helps create a phenomenal user experience. Software such as Tableau is great for this, integrating information from a variety of sources.
Maximizes The Personal Factor
One of the key selling points for small businesses is the “personal factor.” People visit your salon or your boutique because they expect a highly personal experience. If you are still relying on generalized statistics and surveys from your most loyal customers, you are missing opportunities to maximize that personal factor. Big data provides a more comprehensive understanding of your business and how it fits in the marketplace. It also helps predict trends and shifts that help provide more personalized services.
Whether you love it or hate it, big data is here to stay. Embracing it can mean massive growth for your company. Do not let the big corps of the world have all the success. Take your small business big places.
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