How Small Businesses Can Leverage Big Data

Big Data

Big data tools, from data collection to analytics, have exited the realm of enterprise-level marketers and become available to small business owners. Small businesses can now improve their marketing strategy, adopt lean management practices and target their best customers at a minimal cost. Whether your business is focused on streamlining inventory, improving delivery times or gathering data on potential leads, there are big data tools designed to help. Here are some ways your organization can begin to harness big data.

Shipping and Logistics

The shipping and logistics industry owes a great deal to technological innovations. With the adoption of the internet of things technologies, such as handheld scanners and GPS-activated devices, logistics personnel are able to track package movement, cut back on unnecessary inventory and safely integrate third-party logistics and contractors into their overall shipping strategy.

Big data streaming is powered by the cloud, meaning that all personnel have access to data collection in real-time. Once a piece of data is uploaded, everyone on the logistics team will see it. Real-time tracking and big data streaming foster confidence in the consumer, who can virtually observe their shipment from warehouse to doorstep. It also assists logisticians who need to update manifests, conform to shipping regulations and monitor third-party deliveries. Therefore if you need big data streaming, these are the primary factors to consider.

Since the cloud is highly scalable, small businesses are able to grow and collect even more data which can then inform future growth. Choosing a data analysis software package that is cloud-based and integrates with your existing workflow is a good way to ensure your business achieves its potential.

E-Commerce Data

Internet-based small businesses have an advantage when it comes to incorporating big data into their workflow. These companies are already firmly based in data collection, whether that data is used or not. You have records of website visitors, time spent on the site, preferred products, preferred payment methods and other pieces of information about customers.

Choose the pieces of information that are most relevant to your business’ growth and enter that information into any number of free or low-cost data analytics software packages. Analyses of trends and buying patterns converge to provide your business with predictive models that can be used to inform decisions on inventory or offered products, as well as sales and promotions.

Marketing and Lead Nurturing

Big data analytics parse demographic information and customer behaviors. This allows marketers to target the best leads and it also allows sales professionals to follow up on leads successfully.

For example, if data indicates that a potential customer spends more time on a desktop than on a mobile device, sales might achieve greater conversion success by contacting the lead via email. If lead behavior reveals that a basic customer engages with in-app text messaging, then a member of the sales team might communicate via in-app text, offering the basic customer incentives to switch to premium. The more marketing and sales teams know about customer behavior, the better able they are to create meaningful relationships with the customers that matter.

The growth of big data has made it more user-friendly. A person doesn’t have to be a data scientist to make sense of behavioral patterns. Data software offers data visualization so that even those unskilled in statistics can make sense of customer patterns or employee productivity or shipping times. Across industries, big data is helping smaller companies remain competitive and grow.

Annie Davis is a full-time writer whose interests run the gamut from fiction to finance. She enjoys researching new topics and making them easy to understand. You can follow her through the buttons below.