Do you know what big data is? As a business owner, you should

Small business owners are very busy people. You’re hiring staffers, taming your business’ budget, creating new products and developing marketing campaigns. You’re even the person in charge of setting your business’ hours and scouting out new areas for expansion. So you’re probably not delighted that business experts are letting you know you need to study big data, too, to have a competitive edge. You may not even know what big data is — the majority of people don’t. But that does not mean that it’s not important to the success of your small business.

Defining Big Data

Here’s what you should know about big data: It can help you run your small business more effectively. That’s because it can tell you what your core customers want, what they don’t already have and just how many dollars they are ready to spend to have it. John Weathington, writing for the technology blog TechRepublic, states that big data are large amounts of information that’s moving quickly. The good news? This data is freely accessible. The difficulty? It’s tough for small business owners to access and analyze these large amounts of information. However, if you’ve got this information at your fingertips? You’ll have a big advantage over your competition.

Big Data In Action

Big data gives businesses, even small ones, a competitive advantage. CIO Magazine provides three examples. The magazine cites a financial firm that uses large financial data sets and data analytics tools to help their clients decide how to best plan their retirements. This, not surprisingly, gives this financial firm an edge in attracting clients.

Exmobaby uses big data to attract parents who want their babies to be as healthy and well as possible. The business sells pajamas that come with built-in sensors. These sensors monitor the babies wearing the pajamas and sends health information in real time to parents. It’s easy to see how big health data sets can help this company attract the business of concerned parents. Finally, the CIO story cites Parchment. This company analyzes such education information as grade point averages, SAT scores and college acceptance data to help clients apply to those colleges which are most likely to accept them. By utilizing big sets of data in order to save their clients both time and disappointment, Parchment is able to steadily build its customer base.

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