The market for technology brings something new and useful every day. Technology brings joy not only for end users but also for businesses. Large-scale organizations use new trends of technology to improve their business operations and satisfy end users.
It is a myth that only large or medium-scale businesses require technology. All sorts of businesses and organizations can benefit from each innovative technology. The fact is that only large-scale enterprises dare to invest in new technologies. The reason behind this fact is growing competition and enough capital.
When we talk about large-scale businesses, we can assume a huge target audience and great market share. Hence these businesses have huge competition. Competitors with the latest technology can damage the market share of the businesses overnight.
Large and medium-scale businesses recruit a team to note what new trends are occurring in the world of technology and how these technologies can benefit the business. The larger the business, the higher the revenue. Hence to gain more return on investment, the large and medium scale businesses are always ready to implement the latest technologies.
But what about small-scale businesses? When we talk about small-scale businesses, we are definitely not talking about corporate or manufacturing units. Small-scale businesses can be small vendors, individual workers, startups with very few members, small cafes, small-scale service providers (electricians, fashion designers), etc.
These days, all small-scale businesses have started integrating with technology in the form of websites and mobile apps. 54 percent of small-scale businesses in the US have official business websites.
Web development companies are spreading information about website benefits. It is estimated that soon that 54 percent will see a great hike in the US. The UK has a good percent of small-scale businesses with websites, as well.
Also, developing mobile apps is a need. A maximum number of internet users surf on mobiles, hence launching a mobile app for small businesses is equally essential.
One more technology can really help small businesses. We are talking about Big Data. Small businesses feel that Big Data is out their league. But the fact is that these businesses generate huge data that can deliver great value once analyzed.
What is Big Data?
Even small businesses generate large data. Using traditional ways to process these large data sets cannot offer satisfactory solutions. Big Data is simply gathering and analyzing large data sets and converting them into meaningful insights.
Let us take an example. A small fashion boutique has its own website. The boutique owner runs email marketing campaign to target all women in the town. Simply sending them emails about the latest fashion entries and information about offers /discounts is not enough.
It is important to know how many prospects clicked on the email, how many of them landed on the landing page and how many of them actually bought the products. What if the boutique owner is able to see which page has a maximum number of visits and how many of the prospects are actually buying?
The small vendor can analyze what can strategize accordingly. If the visits are growing but no purchase is made, the vendor can consider offering a discount or a free gift.
This one example is not enough to understand how comprehensive Big Data is. Because Big Data has big benefits. It processes large and complex data and turns it out into meaningful information. Small business can use this information to market more precisely and generate new business strategies.
Big Data is of three types:
- Structured: any information that is stored and accessed in a particular format is known as structured Big Data. Usually, the format is known in advance.
- Unstructured: Any data whose structure or format is not known is known as unstructured data. Many small-scale businesses do not even realize that they generate huge raw data that can be extremely useful if analyzed properly. This data is processed and analyzed using Big Data.
- Semi-structured: It is a mixture of both structured and unstructured data. It contains huge data in a particular format but is actually not defined.
How can small businesses benefit from Big Data?
No proper source to generate data
Unlike large-scale organizations, small businesses might not have any proper source of data generation. What if the small-scale business is not running any digital marketing campaign or is not active on social media?
The good news is that even such businesses can take advantage of Big Data. Research is the answer. There are some Big Data service providers who can help such vendors. Qualtrics is one name that comes to mind.
It lets small vendors conduct a wide variety of research. Qualtrics Experience Management (Qualtrics XM) lets businesses manage the user experience. Businesses can measure, prioritize and optimize the user experience. It also delivers real-time insights, survey tools, commercial testing, and market research programs.
Websites are not just for offering access to information!
As mentioned above, more than half of small businesses in the US have websites. We all know the benefits of having business websites. Users can access your business information anytime and from anywhere. Users can easily contact you. Websites are also considered great for direct marketing.
If you are considering hiring digital marketing services, a website is a must. But wait. These are not the only benefits of having a business website. Big Data and websites go hand in hand. You can use the website as a tool for Big Data implementation. Google Analytics is the answer! Businesses need not invest in expensive software to analyze website data.
Google analytics can extract long-term data and deliver valuable information. It helps in making wise and valuable decision making. Vendors can see which pages are getting most visits, what are the geographic locations of those visitors, what visitors are buying, their purchase habits, their choices, and favorites, etc.
It also shows how much time visitors are spending on the pages. It helps to calculate bounce rate. Businesses can work to reduce bounce rate by changing page design or content.
Maximum businesses use Big Data to enhance marketing campaigns. It is used to optimize the features of marketing. The Big Data analyzes raw data and gives businesses a closer glimpse of what actual users want. On the basis of data generated, businesses can modify their marketing strategies.
Have you heard of the term personalization? This term is very popular in the marketing industry. Whenever a user browses something on the internet, he starts seeing ads related to the same product everywhere he surfs.
This is called personalization. On the basis of personal browsing history, businesses target users. There are many Big Data service providers who can help small businesses improve their marketing strategies. Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, Canopy Labs, etc. are some of the Big Data service providers who can help your small businesses achieve great success in marketing. Canopy Labs delivers predictive user behavioral models. It extracts important information for future marketing campaigns. Small businesses can decide what strategy to implement in the coming days and can beat the competition.
Do not understand technical stuff?
It is not at all necessary that all businesses, no matter how small or large, understand the technicalities of Big Data. When businesses hear the words data analysis, they get scared. But how about Big Data solutions which are for everyone? There are some Big Data service providers who offer data analysis of complex and raw data in an extremely simple manner.
It makes data analytics easily accessible to small-scale businesses. The resources of small-scale organizations need not possess any skills of using complex data mining. IBM Watson Analytics is one of the best examples when we discuss easy Big Data solutions.
It offers a single platform for all data analysis projects. Businesses can easily access meaningful insights. Another tool is SAS. It offers easy-to-use analytics, automated forecasting, and data mining services. Businesses can identify problems and resolve them using Big Data technology.
Big Data deals with huge raw and complex data which seems meaningless. The term big is not at all related to big enterprises only. Even small businesses generate large complex and raw data. These businesses can use various tools and software to optimize usage of Big Data technology. This technology can certainly help small-scale businesses to achieve success.