Big Data and Small Business


January 18, 2015
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The name “big” in big data can be off-putting for small to medium-sized business (SMBs). In a leveled playing ground, big businesses should not be monopolizing big data. Many midsize companies erroneously believe that big data is out of their reach and do not fully appreciate the game-changing potential and its attainability.

SMBs see big data as an exclusive source of empowerment for large enterprises to glean a better insight economy. When it comes to big data, SMBs feel sidelined and out of the game. So what is the relationship between big data and small business? Big data is part of a larger umbrella of Infrastructure-as-a-Service.

Progressive-minded SMBs blend technology and business acumen to carve out market niches, invent new revenue streams and boost business ROI channel-ways in bid to outpace competitors. Big data is a technology-enabler, so why have SMBs failed to migrate over? According to an SMB market research study, only 18% of small business use analytic-focused framework to add business intelligence. What has made big data a largely untapped market for SMBs is that business owners believe that a capital-intensive venture will not bring the necessary ROI to justify the associated costs.

Midsized organizations know that getting the right mission-critical information at the right time can pay major dividends. They also know that efforts to retool should be accelerated in light of a data-driven approach. So why have SMBs been so cautious when it comes to integrating big data and postpone it?

Big Data and Small Business

The defensive attitude to switch-over has taken shape on multiple front-lines. On the first frontline, a general principle is that businesses fear what they do not know. This truism is intensified for SMBs, who see themselves as more vulnerable to market shock-waves and downturns. The volatility of the marketplace and their inability to withstand drastic turns makes SMBs more naturally risk-averse. Mid-size companies struggle to make sense of disconnected information silos.

With emerging technology trends, SMBs have a difficult time keeping up and most do not have in-house data scientists to clarify. With limited resources, important question like which IT projects are worth investing into are discussed in the conference room. Without the right guidance, companies do not know what to onboard and what to leave. Big data is a transformative infrastructural shift that will help equip you for different paradigm shifts. At Fidelity IT Solutions, our IT consulting services we will help you make the right choices with your budget in mind.

Secondly, according to SMB group studies, integrating new technologies is the number one challenge for midsized businesses. There is a serious disconnect that undermines big data adoption, which results in productivity drains, predisposed to enterprise-wide inaccuracies and the absence of concrete data streams to support decision making. SMBs are opting to go for pre-integrated software suite that brings together diverging applications and put them all under one umbrella.

The need to unify reliable data lies at the base of all solid analytics and reporting. Vendors are catering to SMBs, such as Microsoft Office 365, which improves productivity, saves time and empowers midmarket organizations to make better decisions. Vendors are proactively targeting SMBs by making huge strides in user-friendly interfaces and cognitive computing that is aimed at increasing adopter rates of big data. With vendors raising the bar and looking to capture the SMB markets, midsized business can now take advantage of big data-accessible speed, customer proximity and new insights by uncovering data trends and patterns.

The third impediment is that businesses have not explored their own internal business sensors to see if they are big data-ready. SMBs must realize that big data presents a lot of opportunities, and helps in your ability to analyze and gain a better insight economy. Locate where your data streams, both inflowing and outflowing, are coming from.

Determine hierarchies and priorities, and layout the applications; determine social connections and social media presence; and business activities that you use on a day-to-day basis to regulate data streams. Map them out and show how they affect your business. The last step is to focus on your clientèle. IT focuses on automating and creating pathways in the back-end to ensure connectivity, system integrity and reliability, so you don’t have to. By keying-in on customer demands and concerns, you can ensure that data provides real-time value so that a big data ecosystem can further improve on current customer relations.

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