One of the questions that is on everyone’s mind is whether or not big data can provide small businesses the same opportunities as large corporations. The answer is an astounding yes! Data analysis is not about the size of the company. It’s how the data is used and interpreted.
Small businesses might generate less data than large corporations, but they still have access to large amounts of data. Data doesn’t have to come from your business to be useful. In fact, it’s actually safe to say that big data is more useful for small businesses anyway. Think of it as a handicap in golf. We use a modifier to level the playing field so that experienced players and newbies can play a round together. Well, big data levels the playing field for small businesses. Let’s look at a few ways that small businesses can get the most from big data.
Understand your Customer’s Needs
Big data provides small businesses will a much larger picture of their customers’ needs. It can show you factors like:
- What makes them tick?
- Reasons why they make a purchase.
- Their shopping habits.
- Why they switch brands.
- What they are likely to buy next.
Businesses that are better at interacting with customers are going to have higher conversion rates. Large corporations simply dump a lot of money into marketing to engage, but small businesses can use big data to pinpoint their marketing. The result is that they are able to bring in customers without having to spend millions on marketing.
The ability to monitor consumer activity provides a lot of predictability in the market. This is where small businesses need to take calculated risks by creating new products and services based on these trends. In short, big data gives small businesses the opportunity to create trends! Until the emergence of big data, entrepreneurs only had their “gut instincts” to guide them. Now it’s much more than that. We all have access to huge amounts of data to help.
Services like those provided by Research Optimus identify trend data and answer specific questions about your business. This allows you to find trends in the market before they actually become trends. Again, it’s not the size of your business that matter here. It’s how you utilize the power of big data.
Keep an Eye on the Competition
Understanding competition used to be limited to mere gossip and the occasional scoop. But now consumers expect businesses to be completely transparent. That means you’ll have access to that same information without even having to leave your desk! We have powerful tools like Google Trends to provide insight into the popularity of pretty much any brand. Social media is another amazing place to gather information on your competitors. For instance, how does the business address their customers? Are they better than you are? What can you do to improve this interaction, so it’s better than your competition?
I will say one thing with absolute certainty. Small businesses that focus on customer engagement are going to find loyal customers because they are better able to engage than large corporations.
Finally, big data can help you improve your business processes. Everything you do generates data, and since you have access to competitor’s data as well, you can use it as a comparison. If you’re underperforming, then make changes to improve efficiency.
For example, retail businesses can optimize their inventory by using data gathered from social media and web searches. That way, they are not dumping money into inventory that they will never sell.