You probably hear about big data and think, “What’s the big deal? That’s for corporations.” Most small to medium businesses (SMB) don’t generate enough data to compile a big data set, so they think big data just isn’t for them.
In fact, your SMB could benefit from big data, but you need to create your data lake first. Your data what?
Let’s go through a few meaningful terms before we dive into how you could create a big data set relevant to your business to improve your content marketing strategy, even if you’re a dry cleaner in a small town with about 500 customers.
Most data sets can fit into a database. When a database grows beyond that size, when it can no longer be contained within a program like Excel or Statistical Analysis System (SAS), it becomes a big data set.
Most databases contain the same types of information, like phone numbers, addresses, email addresses, etc. Big data sets include many types of information amalgamated into a data lake that can accommodate many data types and can effortlessly capture this data from information streams like register tapes, app scans, social media posts, etc. The lake’s design lets it automatically curate the data based upon the rules you define. This helps automate data management. You can set up automated rules to help process data, too, and it all happens in real-time.
Big data sets continuously grow since information gets added to them continuously. When you ring up a customer, you add data. When a customer makes a social media post, you add data. When someone comments on your blog, this comment on your content marketing goes into your data lake, just as the blog did. This continues in perpetuity with you adding data to your data set.
All of this wonderful data goes into your data lake. Similar to a lake that you fish in, a data lake has many diverse things. While you might find frogs and large-mouth bass in a lake with water, in a data lake, you can toss in any type of data. If your customer posts a video of their visit to your shop, it goes into the same data lake as their email address did when they first registered with you. The same lake accepts digital register information and information from apps like Instacart if your store registered with it. Your diverse data provides you with vast options for reports and handles scraping the Internet and the various retail feeds for you.
The information in the data lake allows you to create reports for business analytics. Google Analytics and Zoho Analytics top the list of the best-known apps for this analysis. You will be able to set up some reports using the host of your data lake.
Most people store their data in a cloud. One of the most frequently used hosts is Amazon Web Services (AWS). Yes, the same company from which you buy socks and speakers also hosts data. AWS lets you choose from a few different products designed for long-term or short-term storage. You build your data lake on this server space or storage space.
Big Data Solutions
Once you set up your storage space and your data lake, you might import everything you’ve got and think, “Wow! I could have made an Excel file for this.” You actually just need a big data solution or a company that purchases large data sets, repackages them, and sells them. These big data solutions provide the large data sets of many types of data that SMBs use.
So who are these companies and where do you find them? Many of the same companies that provide analytics tools also offer these data sets, so being an SMB no longer presents a challenge to obtaining business and market intelligence. Let this shortlist of high-quality companies jump-start your big data project.
- Google Analytics
- IBM Cognos Analytics
Not all of these companies offer data for sale. For example, Google draws its data from your own website. This provides you with insight into your content marketing strategy. Tranzlogic specializes in credit card transaction data. Alteryx provides data for every industry to the department level, including information from the competition’s digital content marketing.
How Can You Use Big Data
So, now you have a lake of data with lots of information about your business and the businesses of your competitors. What do you do with it?
Just like corporations, small and medium businesses can use big data to analyze their business and potential business decisions to gain an edge on their competition. The reports you generate from your big data can help you make better business decisions that result in:
- Reduced business costs
- Efficiency improvements
- Identifying business or competition weaknesses
- Improvements to existing products and services
- Designing new products and services
- Contributions to fraud prevention
- Pricing strategy optimizations
Regardless of how small your business starts out, you can grow it. Apple and Microsoft started out as home businesses in a garage, so realize that you can grow your tiny computer service into a major brand. You just have to know which business decisions make the most sense and how to create the right digital content marketing to reach your audience.
That’s where big data helps you. If you agree with the majority of small business owners, you think of big data as essential to the analysis. About 51% of small business owners agree on this importance. According to the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), 45% of small business owners run data analysis on their big data. This happens because they think they don’t have time to track the analytics.
That’s where Bake More Pies comes in! We know that getting new clients is your top priority. The analytics from this massive data set can provide you with information that tells you why you lose customers and where to find new ones.
Your big-data initiative can also help you with your content marketing. When you find out what information your customers need or why they leave, you can turn that around. Perhaps your return policy doesn’t cover a long enough time period. You can double it, for instance from two weeks to four weeks, then apprise them of this in an email newsletter, an important component in your content marketing.
Contact Bake More Pies
Call Bake More Pies today to find out how easily you can get started with big data. Let us help you grow your SMB with better business intelligence to improve your content marketing and your overall bottom line. Call us today!