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Can Big Data Work for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)?

More and more data are generated in less time. To utilize this flood of data is a major challenge and a competitive advantage for companies; especially for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). How these SMEs can benefit from the Big Data?

Understand Big Data

The term “Big Data” brings a phenomenon of our time to the point – we have huge databases. Many of these data are produced by the company itself. In addition, companies can access external sources of information. Big Data means that data material is present in large quantities, wide variety and is obtained faster. Thanks to ever-improving computer performance, now data can be processed much more quickly.

Big Data is useful only when you are able to evaluate the data and to draw meaningful conclusions from it. There is nothing new behind the concept of Big Data. Business data such as stocks and sales is always collected. The only new is that today we have the opportunity to evaluate much larger amounts of data and to combine very different types of data to each other and to relate.

Lift hidden treasures data

Many companies, large and small, have hidden treasures data. What options are there to lift these treasures and make them usable? The possibilities are endless.

With Big Data, we can discover unknown relationships, personalized offers better and predict trends more accurately. Processes can be optimized and decisions can be made based on the evident. Data can help you leapfrog the competition and save your money.

Numerous data sources available

On nowadays data market, we can find a lot of information. For example, Google offers exciting insights about popular searches. In addition, governments around the world give various records outwards through Open Data projects, which enable the government data such as the traffic information, land use information, weather information, and historical documents, to be shared to the general public.

Companies generate even a plurality of data. This includes addresses, emails, customer data, price lists, sales figures, data or site statistics, and a company’s website can provide detailed information about their visitors too. The analysis of social media data is also becoming a standard procedure for many companies. Each company has master data that contain information about customers, products or employees. Meaningful conclusions may be drawn from with such basic business data.

SMEs can use Big Data as larger companies; however, for smaller companies, It is important to choose affordable, scalable, and reliable solutions that can take good care of their own data sets.

How Big Data can be exploited?

How SMEs can now benefit from specific Big Data? One thing is certain – Many data around is unused. For SMEs, to make their data useful, they cannot analyze everything they have, they need to narrow down the questions that are most important to their business.

For example, with the use of a business website, an online store, an online advertising campaign or social media, numerous data are collected. This data can provide conclusions about user behaviours, interests and preferences. If linking this data with the sales figures in a local business, extensive knowledge about the customer can be achieved. Product marketing can then be targeted, and the contact to new customers can be improved.

Big Data concerns us all

When talking about Big Data, which is not only an issue for individual companies, but basically concerns the whole society – Big Data touches issues on privacy, personal data or data misuse. Data is not simply “there” for you to pick, but must be collected and stored. Much of the collected data is related to people, for example, mobile data, public cameras or browser history…Here is the question – when the whole society is full of data, who should collect and store data, who should be the owner of the data, how the privacy is protected, and how the data will be handled in the future?

I am a SME. How should I deal with Big Data?

First of all, take this subject seriously. Big Data is more than just a technology trend; the role of data is becoming increasingly important. Before data are collected and analyzed, strategic objectives and key performance indicators which you want to measure should be established. Big Data is only useful and impact on the actual business success when large amounts of data from relevant data models are emerging.

In some cases, using Big Data is not as complex as you thought. For example, valuable insights can be obtained from the use of analytics tools such as Google Analytics, which is available to all website users free of charge.

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