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Take advantage of BIG DATA


5 ways that your small business can benefit from big data

The name big data might imply that only big enterprise level businesses can benefit from the insights that it has to offer, but that’s not the case. Small businesses can just as easily tap into the power of this modern business revolution.

To put it simply, big data is collection of accumulated data from multiple data points, such as analytics tools, software that’s already being used (such as CRM) data, and so on. Businesses generate a massive amount of data that is, largely, untapped. Big data involves pulling all those different sources of data together and of making insights from it that can help you improve just about every aspect of your business.

Here, we’re going to look at how small businesses can benefit from big data just as easily as bigger organizations, and why it might be time to start looking into how you can incorporate it in your own.


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Improve the decision-making process across the board

When it comes to making any decision that can affect multiple departments internally, or a large swathe of your audience, being unable to come to a decision and to implement it can be a major detriment to your business. For instance, the inability to decide whether or not to invest in a rising tech trend like apps can have you missing the boat, entirely.

One of the biggest benefits of big data is that it vastly improves the speed of data collection and the quality of the data collected, allowing you to make much better decisions for the business. From site redesigns to new product development, to when to launch a marketing campaign, you can gain the insights you need to make your decisions both faster and better.

Improving your customer’s journey

One of the most immediately visible benefits of big data is looking at how your customers experience your brand, what successfully leads them to convert, and where more of them are losing interest. We already have tools that present data on this to some degree. Google and social media analytics give us plenty of information on the average user experience of our site and marketing campaigns. Customer relationship management tools can detail every step of a lead’s journey and where they drop off.

When you start combining the data from these different platforms, each dedicated to the customer journey, you can start to better understand customer behaviour in general, not just limited to one platform. As such, you can focus on creating a more personalized user experience that speaks to their habits and addresses the pain points found in the existing user experience.

Improved personalisation

This was mentioned in passing in the above point, the leverage of your data in personalising your customer’s journey is not something to be sniffed at. Customers respond much better to content and messages that seems like it has been designed specifically for them, as it’s much more likely to be relevant to their interests. We’re talking about personalisation that goes a lot deeper than including their first name in the email subject field.

Emails, for instance, can be further personalised with select offers made towards customers with specific interests. If they have abandoned a shopping cart in the past, an email can be sent to remind them of the product they were looking at before, or to recommend alternatives.

Another big data customisation in marketing is the rise of the smarter chatbot. Previously, these chatbots could only respond to a very limited selection of phrases, keywords, and numbers. Now, however, retailers are using them to help customers find more specific products and page recommendations. By talking to customers, learning their preferences, and even referencing that customer’s history, they can help them get to the products and pages they want even quicker. A smoother journey with fewer barriers means a greater chance of conversion.

Better security for your data

Data breaches are a serious threat to any business. The majority of businesses that have a serious leak or loss of data don’t make it two years after the breach occurred. As such, doing what you can to protect your systems is essential.

Most businesses have multiple components of their IT security scope. Different devices, networks, and software can all be potential risks, and they each generate logs that detail different events, including those that could highlight a potential security risk.

Now, big data security is pulling logs in from all those multiple elements, formatting them so that they can be compared, listed, and more easily scanned through, and responding better to threats as a result. One slightly odd log in one location might not be enough to warrant any worries, but if similar logs start popping up across the entire security scope, it could be evidence of an attack in progress, allowing your IT team to respond to the threat in a more timely manner.

Make sure your data is accurate

Many businesses are relying on data from single sources, such as analytic tools, CRM software, and so on, and letting it drive their decision-making processes. But how often do you ask how reliable that data is? Inaccuracies and errors do happen, even in the cold, hard world of data. But big data can make sure that you’re better able to spot them.

By collecting data from multiple sources, you are able to better identify discrepancies that could highlight when data from one source is inaccurate, since it could be compared and contrasted against applicable data from other sets as well. This ensures you don’t make decisions based off of bad data that could be harmful to the company.

The future is big

Big data is being discovered by businesses of all sizes in all industries, and it might not be too long before it becomes standard practice. We’ve seen technology influence business norms in a big way over the past couple of decades, be it through social media, mobile marketing, or otherwise. There’s no reason to suspect that big data might not be just as transformative. The only question is when your business gets on board.

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