Can Small Companies Benefit from Big Data?
Many large corporations use high-cost computer power and technological expertise to capture and mine data as they look for ways to improve business efficiency and customer interaction. Recently, a new crop of user-friendly technology products has made it possible for small businesses with limited budgets to do the same.
Here are some of the ways in which business owners use data to drive critical decisions.
Optimizing websites. Companies with websites can use analytics tools to collect, report, measure, and analyze data on visits, page views, bounce rates, search terms, and more. The data is often presented in the form of tables or charts, which may make it easier to make sense of the numbers. This information can provide insight on prospective customers and help gauge the effectiveness of marketing efforts.
Streamlining operations. Owners may appreciate business intelligence software that takes some of the guesswork out of running their operations. New applications may be helpful for predicting necessary staffing levels, tracking inventories, maintaining fleets of vehicles, or identifying products and services that tend to turn visitors into repeat customers.
Understanding customers. A customer relationship management (CRM) program can help businesses keep track of interactions with their clients and gain insight based on clients’ past behavior and tendencies. For example, it’s fairly simple and inexpensive to capture email addresses and offer promotions tailored to customer preferences.
The Cloud Clears the Way
The “cloud” refers to the delivery of on-demand computing resources over the Internet, often by subscription or on a pay-per-use basis. Companies may be able to use cloud-based applications instead of buying and maintaining hardware, software, and servers.
Cloud applications can make it easier and less expensive for small businesses to keep their technological capabilities up-to-date and take advantage of cutting-edge features, including business intelligence. Small companies can even build and deliver custom applications for their own commercial purposes.
Have you thought about how your business could take advantage of this technology trend? It might not involve sifting through massive amounts of data, but rather focusing on the activities that matter most to your bottom line.