Today, data has often been referred to as the ”new oil’ and makes a major part of any business. However, this huge amount of data that is generated by the enterprises remains under-utilized and gets accumulated while storing in the business databases. This data is very insightful and its advantages have been fueled by smart innovations and implementation of tools that made it possible to extract the maximum out of it.
Businesses generate a huge volume of data on a regular basis and the involvement of big data is about making sense of this information and utilizing it for making smarter and effective business decisions. This collected information serves as the resource pool and small businesses have started taking advantage of it for improving their profits.
Benefits of Big Data for Small Businesses
Following are key benefits of big data for small businesses-
1. Quick Access to Information
Big data makes the generated information available and accessible at all times for the businesses in real-time. Various tools have been designed for capturing user data and thus, businesses can accumulate the information in terms of customer behavior. This huge chunk of information is readily available for the businesses at their disposal and they can implement effective strategies for improving their prospects.
2. Tracking Outcomes of Decisions
Businesses of any size can gain huge amounts of benefits from the data-driven analytics and this calls for the deployment of big data. Big data enable businesses to track the outcomes of their promotional strategies and giving the companies a clear understanding of what works well for them and improves their decisions to gain better results. Small businesses can tap on this information to know which of their brands are being perceived by their key customers. Based on this information, businesses can carry out accurate predictions regarding their techniques and at the same time minimize their risks.
3. Developing Better Products and Services
Small businesses can use big data and analytics for determining the current requirements of their prospective customers. Big data can help in analyzing customer behavior based on their previous trends. A proper analysis of customer behavior and its associated data helps businesses to develop better products and services based on their past needs. Big data also determines the performance of certain products and services of the company and how they can be used to meet these demands. Big data now also allows the companies to test their product designs and determine flaws that may cause losses in case that product is marketed. Big data is also used for enhancing after-sales services like- maintenance, support, etc.
4. Cost-Effective Revenues
Big data provides an umbrella of business opportunities and all these opportunities come without any costs. The data sources that are available to businesses cost almost nothing. For example, the costs related to data of social media interactions and sales can be obtained without paying a single penny. Besides these, there are several platforms that provide these benefits at as low as zero as costs. For example; Google Analytics is an effective tool for detecting visitor behavior on a webpage. Out of these resources, the businesses are able to provide customized offers appealing to the interest of customers. By targeting clients using a customized approach can create various revenue generation opportunities and these can be of great advantage to the businesses.
How Small Businesses Use Data Analytics
• One of the key applications of machine learning for small businesses is by using it for tracking their customers at various stages of the sales cycle. Small businesses have been using data analytics for determining exactly when a given segment of customers are ready to buy and when they’re going to do so.
• Data analytics are also used for improving customer services. Machine learning tools are now able to analyze the conversations taking place between the sales team and customers across various channels. These can provide greater insights into some of the commonly faced issues by the customers and these can be leveraged for ensuring that customers have a great experience with a product/service/brand.
• Data analytics have been providing the SMBs with detailed insights on operational aspects. Data analytics can be of great use when it comes to a detailed analysis of customer behavior. This, in turn, allows the business owners to learn the motivating factors for the consumers to buy products or services. This is of great value as the SMB owners can utilize this information for identifying the market channels to focus in the coming time and thus saving on the marketing spend and thus increasing the market revenue.
Data Analytics Trends in 2019 for Small Businesses
1. Emergence of Deep Learning
We have been generating huge volumes of data every day and it is estimated that the humans generate 2.5 quintillions of data. Machines have become more adept and deep learning capabilities are continuing to rise in the coming time. Often considered as a subset of machine learning, deep learning uses an artificial neural network that learns from the huge volume of data. Its working is considered to be similar to that of the human brain. This level of functionality helps the machines to solve high and complex problems with great degrees of precision.
Deep learning has been helping small businesses in enhancing their decision-making capabilities and elevating the operations to the next level. Using deep learning, the chatbots are now able to respond with much more intelligence to a number of questions and ultimately creating helpful interactions with the customers.
2. Mainstreamed Machine Learning
Machine learning is used for defining the process by the means of which machines gain information using training algorithms. These training algorithms depict a sophisticated form of data analysis that has emerged over the past few years now. Machine learning over the years has developed immensely quite significantly and has given new ventures to companies across various industries. The neural networks that serve as the base for machine learning’s architectural design are now much more advanced than before. The use of machine learning and data analytics is becoming quite inseparable and is being used quite considerably. This trend can be of great benefit to modern-day small businesses. Despite having several applications, machine learning has become a significant tool for revolutionizing the ways in which a brand is marketed to its customers.
3. Dark Data
Dark data is used for defining those information assets that the enterprises collect, process or store but have failed to utilize. It is that data that holds value but gets eventually lost in the middle. Some common examples of dark data include- unused customer data, email attachments that are opened but left undeleted. It is estimated that dark data is going to constitute 93% of all data in the near future and various organizations look to formulate steps to utilize it.
One common way of using dark data can be gaining the data from customer logs for analyzing the medium a customer has used for initiating the contact and what was the duration of the interaction. Dark data helps businesses in determining the individual’s preferred method of contact for delivering a better customer experience.