Big Data isn’t a new concept anymore, especially for large companies and corporations who are using big data to their advantage. However, small companies are losing out on the benefits that Big Data can offer them.
A few years ago, big data was not common, it was something that only either big companies or specialized institutes worked with, but now big data is becoming more integrated as the world is becoming more technology savvy. The number of people on the internet grow each day by the thousands, which means companies now have direct access to their consumers and can get the data first hand without having to resort to marketing and research companies for their information. As the amount of data on the internet grows, so does the need for big databases. Before we go any further, let’s take a look at exactly what is big data.
What is Big Data?
If we look at the technical version of big data, it refers to large data sets that are too complex to be analyzed using the traditional IT programs. Which means, this requires special programs or technology to analyze.
This technical version makes big data sound a little intimidating, but if we look past the marketing and IT jargon, then big data is simply a bunch of information that you’ve received from your consumers about what they bought, their likes, dislikes, their interests, and so on. This data can also include names, emails, addresses, and anything else that might be relevant to your company. Depending on the company’s operations, the data accumulated will differ. However, all of this data is important, if you know how to read it.
Research firm, Gartner roughly defines Big Data using 3Vs – Volume, Velocity and Variety.
• Volume – big data doesn’t sample; it just observes and tracks what happens
• Velocity – big data is often available in real-time
• Variety – big data draws from text, images, audio, video; plus it completes missing pieces through data fusion
However, there are other firms that do not agree with this definition, but in today’s world this has become a simple way of classifying big data.
With Big Data becoming bigger with each passing minute, it is pertinent that companies learn how to sort and analyze big data. Once, they learn how they can extract the useful information from the data, the rest not only becomes easy but also rather useful when making big decisions about your company or your products.
Here are a few reasons, why companies big and small should opt for big data.
Reasons for embracing big data
• Understanding the market
The market isn’t always the easiest thing to peg down – what one person might like, the other might dislike. Similarly, everyone’s taste and choices are different. And as a company, you must be able to cater to the needs of your people. However, you cannot individually cater to each person’s needs, so you go with the highest demand. But, how do you know what is in demand? Well, this is where big data can help. The more people who purchase your product, offer feedback about what they liked or didn’t like, you can then look at the more popular choices and cater to those. This can help you decide the trends of the market or even create the next big trend within the market.
• Understanding customers
Understanding your customer’s isn’t always easy. Also, because of the large number, catering to the needs of each customer becomes even more difficult. But with big data, a simple survey can help you understand your customer better or even pin point your each customer’s wants. With the collaboration of social media and big data, you can even individually address all your customers.
While big data seems like an expensive addition to the company’s roster, it isn’t anymore. Big data tools are now cheaper (some even free) if you know exactly how to use them. The best part about big data is that implementing big data can actually help reduce cost, as well as help you use your resources more appropriately.
How Can Small Companies embrace big data
Now that you see the importance of big data and how it can help boost your small enterprise and even size you up among the big leagues, it is always better to embrace big data and big data tools. Here are a few things you should consider when implementing big data:
• The Right Tool
There are many different big data tools and solutions out there. However, you must decide the right tool for you. Since, you are a small company – choosing a complicated tool that requires a specialist won’t be right for you. The amount of different software and programs currently on the market, give you an array of options to choose from. You can go with something as complex Hadoop or something as easy as Tableau.
Similar to the above option, you must be able to choose a tool that is simple to integrate into your system. A more complex program might take hours for you to implement and understand, but a more simple tool that suits your needs can be easy to work with and also learn.
Cost is one of the biggest factor that should be considered. Since there are many free or cheaper tools online, majority of the time, the cost can be reduced significantly. However, again the cost will also depend on the needs of the business. If a business requires a more sophisticated set of tools, you will have to map out your cost accordingly.
In short, companies big and small should actually consider embracing big data. The world is changing and rapidly, and technology is the easiest and the fastest way to consider how drastically our business is going to change. Big data maybe the reason for your company’s rise or downfall. The more you understand exactly what your consumers want from you, the better you can deliver to their expectations.
The only challenge remaining is to look at all your options and find your own customized big data solutions that is both practical and affordable.