Big data tools are incredibly important for the survival of modern businesses. The best companies tend to invest in the highest quality big data technology to gain a competitive advantage in their market.
However, the quality of the data-driven tools that they utilize plays a huge part in establishing their competitive advantages. They need to do their due diligence and find ways to make the most of the big data technology at their disposal.
One of the most important benefits of big data is through the evolution of mobile technology. Trends in QR technology illustrate the convergence of big data and mobile technology. The best QR code readers have been downloaded over 6 million times. Mobile applications have become an absolute necessity to run a successful business in today’s climate. Big data has made mobile technology more effective than ever.
Data-driven mobile applications provide convenience and sustainability that often outperform most in-house processes or programs. By purchasing an application, you’re eliminating the thousands of dollars of research and development involved in creating a process from scratch.
If you are starting, or currently own a small business, you may be lost when it comes to the types of applications you might need to make your business processes as streamlined as possible.
Here are some of the best data-driven applications that small businesses need to leverage.
When it comes to accounting, if it isn’t your main service or revenue generator, it’s best to either outsource this task or purchase an off-the-shelf application for your bookkeeping. Fortunately, there are plenty of user-friendly data-driven accounting applications available on the market for fairly reasonable prices. If you want a reliable, extensive accounting software, paid cloud-based apps include Quickbooks, Sage Business Cloud Accounting, Xero, and FreshBooks.
Accounting Today reports that the number of accountants relying on big data tools is surging in 2020. With these online apps, you generally pay a monthly subscription fee for software that lives on a secure cloud, meaning your accounting information is always safe.
If you do not want to pay, there are even some good accounting applications available for free. For example, Wave, Zoho, and Zipbooks are completely free cloud-based applications that work similarly to their paid counterparts. For any application that is “free”, however, be wary that they may not be able to keep your financial information safe, you may discover hidden fees, or they may make money by selling some of your information to other companies.
Effective communication, especially if you’re planning on operating in a remote environment, is vital to keep your business running smoothly. This is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, cloud and big data technology is facilitating communication in new ways.
While public emails and messaging apps are fine for a quick and easy start, you’ll eventually need to upgrade to a full-fledged communication system. Usually, businesses use a variety of apps together for the most robust experience.
If your business is growing, consider investing in a private email server. You can use Gmail for Enterprise, for example, or set up your own domain easily. You will also need a good collaboration app for your team, and a document processing and sharing system.
Collaboration apps include Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Flock. All three of these applications have many features available for free, with professional features locked behind a paywall. Collaboration apps work by offering a chat feature, a meeting scheduling feature, conference set-up, and a calendar feature to make planning within the team easier.
In addition to collaboration tools, you will also need a safe and easy way to create and distribute documents. Usually, collaboration apps offer document sharing tools, but what if you need to fax something? Luckily, you can now fax by email with an application called Myfax. You simply set up an account, pay for their services, and you’ll be able to send and receive faxes with your email instead of paying for a fax machine. You do need paper, ink or even a landline to set this convenient service up for your team.
Analytics and CRM
Business analytics is another important aspect of management that shouldn’t be ignored. This is perhaps the biggest benefit of big data in 2020.
If you have large amounts of data, it can be turned into an insight to help your business. For example, if you have customer purchasing data, you can translate those numbers into future purchasing habits data, which helps you focus your marketing and manage financial documents.
Tableau and Salesforce are some of the most recognizable data analytics software programs out there, but if those are too pricey for you when you’re starting out, try a more economical option such as SigmaXL, an Excel plugin, Klipfolio (a cloud-based software), or even a free option such as Sisense. While Excel is a good way to document data, it doesn’t have the tools necessary to effectively draw business conclusions from that data, so getting an outside application is helpful for business planning.
These applications can make the prospect of running your own business easier and more efficient. With accounting, communication, and analytics software apps, you can make the most of your time getting your business up and running.
Big Data Makes Mobile Tools Essential for Small Businesses
Small businesses can’t afford to ignore the benefits of data-driven technology. They will find that it is especially important with mobile tools. They should invest in big data tools that sync with mobile technology to gain the strongest competitive advantage possible.