How Can Small Businesses Leverage Big Data?

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While it may seem like big corporations and small businesses are on two different playing fields, that’s not the case when it comes to big data. Despite the fact that small businesses have less self-generated data than those big corporations, they can still get access to big data.

Big data is comprised of a large amount of structured and unstructured information that can yield a lot of valuable information for a company. It can be deciphered to unveil patterns, trends, and associations that pertain to human psychology, behaviour and how they interact. Big data is a player in just about every industry. This means it can be used across these industries to help companies learn more about their customers and how they are using their products. This information lets companies hone in on consumers and cater to products that are designed to fit their needs.

How does big data work in a small business?

Big data can give your small business the competitive edge it needs. A bonus of being small is that once you have the data and insights you want, you can make changes swiftly and react quickly in comparison to big corporations. Use existing data collection platforms in a smarter way by asking more relevant questions. It’s cheaper than ever to collect data. Use free or relatively inexpensive platforms that already collect data and see how it can help you.

Benefits of big data

Big data will help you identify trends. This information is key in forecasting and managing your inventory control. You can plan better and avoid stock outs because you have a better grasp on what your inventory control needs to respond to demand. You can leverage information from the internet including brand popularity through Google Trends. Analytics through social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram could give you a glance into your consumers’ movements and reasoning. You can then use this data to plan your inventory control tactics.

Big data is also available to support your small business when it comes to hiring. It can guide you towards pertinent recruitment avenues and help with engaging your current employees. HR data can be analysed to see what people enjoy, aren’t satisfied with and internal company insights that can help you grow and support your team.

How your small business can collect and leverage big data

There are a variety of avenues to collect big data when you’re a small business. So you want to paint a better picture of your target customers, right? You want to understand them inside and out and see what they are buying, why they are buying it, why they swap brands or what they will do during their following purchase.
With club cards, grocery stores can track what’s in your shopping cart. Let’s say you’re at the store and you get to the cheese section. You always select your favourite feta cheese, with the blue label. You think it’s the best and it’s a reasonable price. You go to the store next week and the feta with the green packaging is on sale for two dollars less than the blue label. So, you opt for the green one; you have a preference but it is swayed by price. When you use your club card, the grocery store can track this data and analyse how you engage with products and items on sale.

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Melanie - Unleashed Software

Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.

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