Misperceptions about the realities of big data abound. Many small businesses inaccurately believe that analysis of big data holds value only for enterprise level operations or governmental entities. Further complicating this issue, its very definition has morphed considerably over time. In a recent Forbes article, Ashish Thusoo aptly summarized this phenomenon."If you think your data is not big enough to be a Big Data problem, think again. Big Data has become a deceptive term. Big Data has many definitions most of which can be summed up to data that is difficult to extract value from due to volume, variety, and veracity.[Today] Many solutions may be possible for medium-sized data, and they can be queried and processed by single powerful computers with custom programs. "
The power of savvy analysis of big data for smaller businesses should not be underestimated. In Big Data Analytics and the Future of Marketing and Sales, the authors describe big data as the most substantial game-changer in sales and marketing since the advent of the internet itself.
It is important to understand that merely gathering data is not enough. It is proper analysis and the agility to act on acquired insights that will positively impact your SMB's financial bottom line.
One very common use of big or medium data for SMB in involves sales cycle related KPIs and other metrics. Smart analysis of your website traffic may surprise you. For example, are the number of "likes" on your Facebook page or other social medial silos tied directly to conversions, or do the number of views and time invested in reading a particular piece of content emerge as a better driver of sales?
A hard look at the conversion rates as they apply to different touch points in your sales cycle may lead you to focus your efforts differently. Though conventional wisdom may point you in one direction, if the numbers point elsewhere for your particular business, it is often best to follow the numbers.
How has big data impacted your business?