How can SME’s Use Big Data For Smarter Business Decisions

Aamir Qutub

Aamir Qutub

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SMEs have always been under the impression that big data analytics is for large corporates since it involves a huge budget and multitude of skills.
Hence they often fail to make proper use of big data. But now many platforms have come into the picture which can empower SMEs to make use of big data analytics.
The reason behind this being falling prices of technology, new tools for analytics and the proliferation of open source projects.
The benefits of big data analytics are more accessible to smaller businesses as well.

Big data refers to the large volume of data, both organised and unorganised that is generated by a business on a daily basis. Big data can be used for insights that lead to more personalised campaigns and higher revenue.
Accurate analysis of big data can lead to better decision making and therefore better decisions which in turn can result in greater operational efficiency, cost reduction, and reduced risk.
The amount of data is not much essential, but it’s what organisations do with the data that matters.
Big data can help you make cost and time reductions and also has new product development and optimise offerings, and smart decision making.
Big data combined with high-powered analytics, can help to accomplish business tasks such as determining root causes of problems in business processes. It also helps in deciphering near-real time fraudulent behaviour before it affects your organisation, generating coupons at the point of sale based on the customer’s buying habits, and recalculating entire risk portfolios in minutes.

SMEs stay fixated on the transactional needs of business systems rather than focussing on data and pattern analysis.

It’s crucial that SMEs don’t make big leaps initially in the starting of an analytics project. Begin with your current data and the set of problems your business faces.
Figure out the solutions that could solve your problems. Harbour a culture that promotes communication at all levels, not just managerial. You need to understand how data can impact your business so that you can stipulate the right governance and security procedures.
As SMEs often lack the capabilities to manage and control large server and data operations themselves, they can rely on cloud services such as Amazon Web Services, to keep costs and complexity down.

Cloud computing offers shared data and processing resources with computers and other devices on demand. SMEs can make use of cloud infrastructure to take advantage of more sophisticated IT operations, which otherwise would not have been accessible to them due to massive costs of operations and investments involved.

Businesses should view big data analytics as an ongoing journey. There will be several stop-offs along the way, perhaps lasting months.

Initial insights from new analytics, technology and data improvement will help you to implement decisions accordingly. But soon you will need valuable insights to make more informed decisions.

So you have to develop and innovate extensions and advancements in those solutions.

Analytics projects involve a lot of trial and error. Sometimes they lead to significant value, some result in dead ends. Big data has a plethora of business opportunities for SMEs. Any business, large or small, should make full use of data analytics for precise business decisions and revenue growth. Big data analytics can not only help you to gauge an understanding of your business in detail but also make better decisions and understand your customers’ needs. Small businesses now no longer need to shy away from using big data analytics tools.

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