There have been a lot of technological developments that have transformed the business world. Just imagine, for example, how much smartphones have changed how people buy products or find businesses. However, another big development that you may have not considered as much is the effect of big data on how businesses operate.
Big data is the collection of massive amounts of data for the purpose of later analyzing that information to find things such as trends, patterns, individual data points and more that can help a company form new competitive advantages. Big data is quickly helping to transform many aspects of doing business in the modern era, and its influence is not restricted to huge corporations. Small businesses can benefit greatly as well. Here are some of the ways big data processing can help your small business.
It Increases Efficiency
One of the greatest things about big data analytics is it can be used as a tool to improve efficiency in different business processes. This is especially the case for companies that must perform work in factories or use other kinds of standardized production workflows.
Sensors located on things like assembly lines can constantly collect data that is sent directly to a central hub database. This information can then later be processed by powerful analytics software that can be used to increase the efficiency in those industrial processes. This can even be automated. UPS invests $1 million in big data each year. The reason why is the added efficiency in their processes and workflows more than make up for the investment.
It Slashes Costs
With that added efficiency, significant cost savings can also be produced. The leveraging of big data in the healthcare industry could lead to savings of $400 billion.
However, you don’t have to be a huge healthcare enterprise to benefit financially from big data. The stronger efficiency that can be created from big data analytics can also help slash expense for small businesses across the board.
It Lowers Risk
Risk is created when the consequences of a certain action are unknowable. The more you know about the things that could happen as well as the corresponding odds, the lower the risk is. When the risk is low, the possibility of losing money is also lower. If you want to lower risk, you need more information. Big data can give you access to more information than you ever dreamed of. 44 trillion gigabytes of data will have been created by the year 2020.
With powerful big data analytics software that analyzes data stored in formats like a hadoop cluster, you can actually create forecasts that predict the future. Based on past data, you could produce sales forecasts for several months ahead. This can be invaluable to improving your bottom line. You’ll have a much better idea of what products to stock when to maximize profit margins year round.
It Improves Customer Service
Another great thing about big data platforms is they can be used to record every interaction a company has with all of its customers. This can be an excellent tool for greatly improving customer service. When providing customer service, you’ll have far more information to immediately examine regarding that customer’s issues and experiences with the company going back years.
This means being able to provide far more personalized service that is much more likely to produce positive outcomes from that customer. Positive customer service experiences produce loyal customers that can provide you with steady revenue streams for years into the future.
Big data can make a big difference for a company of nearly any size. Small businesses can certainly greatly benefit from the improved efficiency, cost savings and predictive power of big data analytics. Investigate different ways your company can use big data to produce competitive advantages.
by: Vincent Stokes