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5 Ways Small Businesses Can Use Big Data in 2016

The Role of Big Data

Big data is being completely transformed, primarily because of the many cloud-based SaaS options hitting the market, most of which offer self-service technology. These innovations in big data make it more attainable for not just large multinational enterprises to utilize big data, but also medium-sized and even small business. With proper data science training, companies of all sizes can gain a competitive edge over their competitors. Data collection is useful in terms of analytics, prediction, and real-time insight while harnessing big data is transforming and revolutionizing businesses’ competitive advantage.

So how can small business put big data to work? Here are 5 ways to maximize data’s impact in 2016:

1. Analyzing Social Media Campaigns

In today’s marketplace, almost all small businesses use social media, whether it’s broadly or on a small scale. Regardless, data collection is a beneficial way to assess your business social media efforts, see where campaigns are most effective, uncover what isn’t working and then use these insights to hone your strategy and put social media to better use.

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2. Customer Service

Customers are the key focus of any business, small or large. With big data tools, you can streamline how you collect and manage all of your client information and interactions, which will transform the way you provide service and allow you to tailor your actions to the needs of your particular customers. CRM systems are very inexpensive, and most businesses using them say they more than pay for themselves in terms of the higher level of service delivered through actionable insights.

3. Talent Management

Even if your small business employees only a few people, “big data” can still come in handy. Using a performance management tool will let you collect employee information in one centralized location, which can lead to more informed hiring and firing decisions, as well as internal promotions, all based on quantifiable metrics, rather than a feeling or whim.

4. Online Shopping Behavior

Many of today’s small businesses offer some web-based e-Commerce shopping options for customers. With big data analytics tools, you can explore the entire customer buying journey on your website, from the point of browsing your site to adding items to a cart, all the way through to the actual purchase. By understanding the buyer’s journey more comprehensively you can tailor digital marketing strategies and the overall design of your website.

5. Accounting

Most small businesses are likely already using some data management tool, for example, QuickBooks, to handle basic accounting tasks. These tools often utilize outdated spreadsheets that are difficult to manage. Revolutionize your business by turning to modernized big data accounting tools that will let you do everything from inputting expenditures to managing payroll all in one location. You can eliminate cumbersome spreadsheets, and many of the accounting functionalities are automated, saving small businesses time and helping them to avoid potential human error.

The Power of Data

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With the influx of new big data software options and tools, it’s the ideal time for small businesses to leap into a new world of predictive analytics. Even very small enterprises now have the robust tools at their disposal to be competitive with much larger organizations.

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