In the world of the Internet of Things, Big Data is unavoidable. Big Data simply references having too much data that is also too complex and unstructured for an organization’s current IT infrastructure or compute capacity to accurately analyze or use in order to make sound decisions.
However, according to a poll conducted by The Small Business Authority, 60 percent of Small Business Organizations (“SBOs”) responded that their data wasn’t stored in a secure data center. Additionally, only one-third of SBOs said that they had migrated to the cloud. Because of these statements, that same survey found that the biggest barriers to implementing big data solutions are time constraints, cost and lack of knowledge.
Traditionally speaking, having the ability to process this amount of data was left up to enterprise-size corporations with large budgets, but not anymore. Today, small business can also harvest the benefits of the massive amounts of online and offline information to make wise, data-driven decisions to grow their businesses.
There are several ways that your small business can gather, analyze and make sense of data you already have without breaking the bank. Here are four of eight Big Data solutions for small businesses.
ClearStory Data offers advanced data mining and analytics tools that also present information in a simple, easy to understand way. ClearStory Data works by combining your business’s internal data with publicly available information to help you make better business decisions. These insights are displayed using the StoryBoard feature, which lets you create graphs, story lines and interactive visuals right from the ClearStory dashboard. It also comes with collaboration features that enable team discussion, for instance, by commenting on individual StoryBoards, much like you would on social media. In addition to business data, ClearStory can also provide department-specific data, including marketing, sales, operations and customer analytics. The platform also covers a wide range of industries, such as retail, food and beverage, media and entertainment, financial services, manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, healthcare, pharmaceutical and more.
Kissmetrics, a popular customer intelligence and web analytics platform, aims to help businesses optimize their digital marketing by identifying its best customers and increasing conversions. Unlike traditional web analytics tools, Kissmetrics goes beyond tracking basic metrics like pageviews, referrals and demographic information. Kissmetrics specifically tracks visitors, particularly for insights that can be used for better segmentation and more successful marketing campaigns. Kissmetrics also offers engagement tools to help increase sales, such as the ability to create triggers and design styles that make the most out of customer behaviors. All of this means more conversions, less churning — customers who quickly leave your site — and, ultimately, higher ROIs. In addition, Kissmetrics offers educational resources to help business improve marketing campaigns, such as marketing webinars, how-to guides, articles and infographics.
InsightSquared connects to popular business solutions you probably already use — such as Salesforce, QuickBooks, ShoreTel Sky, Google Analytics, Zendesk and more — to automatically gather data and extract actionable information. For instance, using data from customer relationship (CRM) software, InsightSquared can provide a wealth of small business sales intelligence, such as pipeline forecasting, lead generation and tracking, profitability analysis, and activity monitoring. It can also help businesses discover trends, strengths and weaknesses, sales team wins and losses, and more. In addition to sales tools, InsightSquared’s suite of products also includes marketing, financial, staffing and support analytics tools.
Google Analytics, Google’s free Web-traffic-monitoring tool, provides all types of data about website visitors, using a multitude of metrics and traffic sources. With Google Analytics, you can extract long-term data to reveal trends and other valuable information, so you can make wise, data-driven decisions. For instance, by tracking and analyzing visitor behavior — such as where traffic is coming from, how audiences engage and how long visitors stay on a website (known as bounce rates) — you can make better decisions when striving to meet your website’s or online store’s goals. Another example is analyzing social media traffic, which will allow you to make changes to your social media marketing campaigns based on what is and isn’t working. Studying mobile visitors can also help you extract information about customers browsing your site using their mobile devices, so you can provide a better mobile experience.