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Big Data for Small Business in 2014

Big Data for Small Business in 2014

Last week on our Facebook Page we sparked discussion with an article we shared from Business 2 Community.  The article made 3 predictions for small business in 2014. One being that small business would make use of big data in 2014.

What is big data?

According to our wicked pals at Wikipedia:Big data is the term for a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications. The challenges include capture, curation, storage,search, sharing, transfer, analysis,and visualization… [sic] allowing correlations to be found to “spot business trends, determine quality of research, prevent diseases, link legal citations, combat crime, and determine real-time roadway traffic conditions.”

Spot business trends, prevent diseases AND determine real-time roadway conditions? No wonder they call it BIG data! And no wonder the small business word is not completely interested. Yet.

What’s all the fuss about?

Data mining can sound really complicated, but when it’s stripped away it’s not at all. Thanks to Google analytics every small business can be mining amazing insights about the market and user behaviours. And guess what? It’s free! (mostly).

Facebook is another example of how you can utilising big insights for small business. If you manage a business Facebook page – take a look at your page insights. You will see some pretty cool stuff all mined from big data. For example there are big data summaries of average times your fans are online and on Facebook – that’s some pretty powerful insight!

Use it or lose it

It’s one thing to ‘mine’ the data. The success of Big Data is lies in how you use it. The key is to develop specific marketing campaigns to match identified opportunities found amongst the big data. For example, if you discover that your target demographic and existing fans are active on Facebook at 7:00pm Sundays and Mondays you might amend your scheduled posts around that time to capture as much of your audience and potential audience as possible.

Not just for big business

The term ‘big data’ implies, well, BIG! But don’t be fooled. As always, small business will adapt and utilise big data to benefit us. There’s some real value there so don’t miss the boat. Start testing the big data waters with Google analytics and leverage other companies like Gartner and Mailchimp who do all the mining for you.

Christmas break

I’ll be closing the Blog shop from the 20th December – 14th January but as always we’ll keep the conversation going on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn so join us there.

See you here in the New Year

Darnelle

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