Experts highlight the ways big data can help small businesses

Posted by Justin Hesser on August 26, 2014

The online edition of Entrepreneur magazine has featured two articles this month by industry insiders about the ways that small businesses could be in an ideal position to make the most of big data. Joanna Schloss, a business intelligence and analytics expert at Dell, and Dan Yoo, COO of personal finance website, not only provide tips on how to use big data to maximum effect, but suggest that small companies may even have the advantage over larger enterprises in this department.

Here are some of the specific ways big data can help SMBs thrive:

  • Track not just a website's visitors but how long they stay on each page and how they move between pages, thus gaining valuable insight into which services are most appealing and where cross-promotional opportunities could be beneficial.
  • Track social media interaction and consumer trends, and cross-reference that information, using the conclusions to be at the vanguard of sale and service opportunities as they emerge.
  • Use data as a tool to inform management decisions — Yoo notes that SMB owners "often run by intuition", and that doesn't have to change, but data can undoubtedly help make wiser choices.

The experts also point out how a custom database development company is ideally suited to provide big data solutions to SMBs:

  • Database consultants that are used to working with small companies know how to tailor their services to their clients' needs, whereas similar services for large enterprises are, as Schloss points out, "typically an all-or-nothing proposition," requiring an overhaul of existing systems that SMBs often simply can't afford, financially or logistically. An SMB-specific provider can modify as much or as little of the client's operations as is necessary.
  • Because of the customized nature of the service, rapid application development is possible for SMBs, resulting in immediate benefits to the bottom line.
  • Personalization also has the benefit of reducing costs, and adjusting them to the possibilities of each client.