Even the happiest entrepreneur can feel a little envious of the immense resources huge corporations have. You may wonder if it's worth it to invest in new software or just try to get by with a free version, while big businesses can afford software they may hardly even use. And big data? That's where my envy really used to creep up. I knew just how valuable big data business benefits can be, and I thought those benefits could never be mine.
Oh, how wrong I was.
It turns out that even the smallest of companies can affordably obtain all sorts of big data business benefits. There are some tips and strategies to make it happen though. Here's what I've learned.
1. Define your goal.
It's hard to reap big data business benefits unless you have clearly defined goals and objectives. The data itself isn't the point. The point is what you can do with the data.
My advice? Set goals, define objectives and generate questions. Then you can dive into big data.
One note: Sometimes we don't know what we don't know. If big data is new to you, you might not even know what sorts of questions it's possible to answer.
If you're completely mystified by the prospect of big data and what it can do for your business, don't be intimidated. Do a little research and ask for help if you need it.
2. Know the potential benefits.
The power of big data is that it can help you run your business better. It can help you:
- get to know your customers better so you can deliver more of what they want.
- identify what's working in your business and what's not.
- determine if your marketing is delivering satisfactory ROI.
Big data business benefits also include insight into the hiring process and which applicants may be best suited for you company. It can help you become more efficient, more effective and, perhaps most importantly, more profitable.
The potential benefits are so huge that exploring what big data can do for your company may be worth every bit of time and energy.
3. Work with a big data expert.
One of the most important lessons I've learned in the years since I've started, owned and operated successful businesses is that I'm not actually an expert on every topic known to humankind. I like to think of myself as a pretty smart guy, but that doesn't mean I have to understand every aspect of every task that has to be accomplished within my companies.
Want to harness big data business benefits? Trust an expert.
My advice is to not waste your time trying to become a big data guru. Find someone to handle it for your business or find one of the many software solutions that will handle collecting and interpreting your company's big data.
4. Use what you've got!
I bet that most of you reading this article already have big data collected and at least partially interpreted for you already…even if you don't know it.
How can this be? If your company has a website, you probably have some site analytics that break down who visits your site, where they've come from and what they ultimately do when they arrive at your home page.
Do you use CRM software? It almost certainly has analytics built right in—tools and metrics that help you assess client interest and satisfaction. Your communications solution may have big data business benefits, too, particularly if you're using any kind of unified communications platform. Your credit card processing system may also be able to provide analytics, both for your company individually and also using anonymized data from other businesses that can yield bigger picture insight.
Before you go out and invest in a data analytics solution, check out the full benefits of services you already use.
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