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.
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 the second group of four Big Data solutions for small businesses.
IBM’s Watson Analytics While many Big Data solutions are built for extremely knowledgeable data scientists and analysts, IBM’s Watson Analytics makes advanced and predictive business analytics easily accessible to small businesses. The platform doesn’t require any requisite skills of using complex data mining and analysis systems, but automates the process instead. This self-service analytics solution includes a suite of data access, data refinement and data warehousing services, giving you all the tools you need to prepare and present data yourself in a simple and actionable way to guide decision-making. Unlike other analytics solutions that focus on one area of business, Watson Analytics unifies all your data analysis projects into a single platform — it can be used for all types of data analysis, from marketing to sales, finance, human resources and other parts of your operations. Its “natural language” technology helps businesses identify problems, recognize patterns and gain meaningful insights to answer key questions like what ultimately drive sales, which deals are likely to close, how to make employees happy and more.
Canopy Labs, a customer analytics platform, uses customer behavior, sales trends and predictive behavioral models to extract valuable information for future marketing campaigns and to help you discover the most opportune product recommendations. One of Canopy Labs’ standout features is the 360-degree Customer View, which shows comprehensive data about each individual customer. Its purpose is two-fold: first, it reveals each customers’ standing, such as lifetime value, loyalty and engagement level, as well as purchase histories, email behaviors and other metrics — and this shows which customers are profitable and worth reaching out to. Second, with this information, businesses can better create personalized offers, track customer responses and launch improved outreach campaigns. Canopy Labs handles the complex, technical side of Big Data, so all you have to focus on are your customers.
Tranzlogic makes the invaluable data from credit card transactions available to small businesses — without the big business budget. Tranzlogic works with merchants and payment systems to extract and analyze proprietary data from credit card purchases. This information can then be used to measure sales performance, evaluate customers and customer segments, improve promotions and loyalty programs, launch more-effective marketing campaigns, write better business plans, and perform other tasks that lead to smarter business decisions. Moreover, Tranzlogic requires no tech smarts to get started — it is a turnkey program, meaning there is no installation or programming required. Simply log in to access your merchant portal.
Qualtrics lets businesses conduct a wide range of studies and surveys to gain quality insights to guide data-driven decision-making. Qualtrics offers three types of real-time insights: customer, market and employee insights. To gain customer insight, use Qualtrics’ survey software for customer satisfaction, customer experience and website feedback surveys. To study the market, Qualtrics also offers advertising testing, concept testing and market research programs. And when it comes to your team, Qualtrics can help conduct employee surveys, exit interviews and reviews. Other options include online samples, academic research and mobile surveys.