Big Data Isn’t Only for Big Companies
Business owners are busy people. You’re hiring staffers, balancing your business’ budget, developing new products and creating marketing campaigns. You’ve even the person responsible for setting your business’ hours and scouting out new locations for expansion.
So you’re probably not thrilled that business experts are now telling you that you have to study big data, too, to gain a competitive edge. You might not even know what big data is—most people don’t. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not important to the success of your small business.
Defining big data
What is big data? John Weathington, writing for TechRepublic, does a good job explaining: Big data, as the name suggests, are massive amounts of fast-moving information. This information is free, but it serves a valuable purpose in the marketplace. Big data, if properly mined and studied, can tell you what your target customers want, what they lack and how much they’ll be willing to pay to get it. In other words, big data can tell you how best to run your small business.
Big data examples
Big data gives businesses, even small ones, a competitive advantage. CIO Magazine provides three examples. The magazine cites a financial firm that uses large financial data sets and data analytics tools to help their clients decide how to best plan their retirements. This, of course, gives this financial firm an edge in attracting new clients.
Using big data in your business
CIO also points to a company called Exmobaby that sells baby pajamas that include built-in biosensors. These sensors send health data from babies to their parents. You can bet that this use of data sets—the health information from the babies themselves—attract parents who want the best for their infants.
Then there’s the start-up Parchment, which analyzes databases of student information—everything from grade point averages to SAT scores to college-acceptance data—to help their clients, students, choose and apply for colleges. The edge that this company provides? It helps students apply to those schools statistically most likely to accept them.
Big data, then, helps both businesses and consumers. It helps consumers make better choices, and it helps those businesses who provide this data gain new customers.
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