How Important Is Big Data For Business?

Big Data: A crucial part of any business plan, no matter how small the company.

So, just how important is Big Data for business, anyway? You may as well ask “How important is breathing to sustaining life?”. Big Data, information that’s big on variety, volume, and velocity in which it’s delivered, is a very essential part in doing business today.

How is Big Data important for businesses of any size and how can a small business use it better? Read on and find out.

Data-Driven Versus Instinct-Driven

When you’re out there playing a trivia game, a common bit of wisdom offered for choosing the correct answer is to “go with your gut”. That’s all well and good, but business today is a high-stakes, competitive arena, not a round of Tuesday night bar trivia.

As the article “Expert Interview with Ajay Ohri on the Importance of Big Data” tells us, “It has been proven comprehensively that data-driven decisions will beat instinct-driven decisions.” The simple fact is, numbers don’t lie. When your data is telling you that the public is engaged in wholesale rejection of your company’s Turnip Smoothie, but a couple of execs insist that they have a feeling that the product will soon take off, really now, where do you put your faith?

Big Data serves you reality with hard facts and the relevant numbers in place, and all of it in a form that’s easy to access and use. Informed decisions are the ones that have a greater likelihood of succeeding.

Big Data Is A Bargain

Big Data makes even smaller businesses competitive with the big guys by democratizing both the access and ability to process this raw data, and it does so at very affordable prices. Considering the concern about how the big box stores are driving the mom and pop establishments out of business, doesn’t it make sense to invest a few bucks in a tool that offers the business equivalent of unlimited cosmic power?

How Does A Small Business Use Big Data?

When it comes to actually using Big Data to increase business, the choices of how to proceed are many and varied. For starters, you can track the results of individual customers’ actions when you offer them a special deal, coupon, or promotion. By using these tracked customers as a small sample size, you can ascertain whether or not the promotion should be expanded or cut out entirely.

If your business offers rebates on products or services, you can track how many people actually attempt to cash in the rebate versus how many let the offer expire. This is called “breakage”, and knowing how many people take you up on rebate offers is a good way of measuring the product’s popularity. You can even break it down by demographics, and see where the product makes the best inroads, then focus future efforts on those groups and not so much on the rest, thereby saving money, time, and resources in the process.

Your company can even use Big Data in order to analyze what people are saying about you online. Certain analytics tools can use keywords to help mine for comments about your company and its products, giving you a good idea of how consumers see you. Click-through rates can also be tracked and made available for study, in order to determine how engaged people are with your website, and even how many of your sales actually come from your website’s shopping cart.

The bottom line is, Big Data can help any company of any size to become better informed about customers and the world around them, which in turn leads to better decisions, and that means more successful marketing efforts.

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