5 Practical Applications of Big Data for Small Businesses

Big data might seem too sophisticated for your average small business, but there are actually numerous applications offer huge benefits to their bottom line.

big data helping small businesses
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - 2015415122

Big data is a tool typically talked about in the context of the benefits it provides for larger organizations, and yet it is also within reach of small businesses as well.

A wealth of tools and solutions that bring big data to up-and-coming companies are available, so let’s go over the most impactful and practical applications these can achieve.

Delivery Route Planning for Teams Of Drivers

A deluge of data is created by delivery fleets, so it makes sense that a modern route planning solution will harness this to achieve improvements in efficiency, safety and sustainability.

As well as pulling in data in real time, the latest route planning tools can use historic data to determine the best way to orchestrate individual drivers as well as entire teams, taking into account road conditions, congestion and more besides.

Loading...

Furthermore, with tracking capabilities, it is possible to get insights into the driving habits of employees, and use this information to make recommendations for improvements, and analyze performance over time.

Market Research for Customer Engagement

Knowing what customers want is the key to creating a successful business, as if you can appreciate the pain points, they face, you can make products and services to address them.

Carrying out market research is easier than ever thanks to a combination of public data sources as well as information you harvest through your own internal operations.

From using social media to pinpoint current trends that will help engage new audiences, to assessing feedback from existing customers so you can improve your business systems and processes, there are myriad tools at your disposal today, even as a small business.

Loading...

Analyzing Competitors to Get the Edge Over Them

Knowing what your rivals are up to and working out whether their efforts are proving successful or fruitless will help you to form your own business strategies.

With big data tools, and access to public resources, you can review and rank the competition, see how audiences respond to them, check if their campaigns are gaining traction, and generally stay one step ahead.

Something as well-known as Google Trends can help not only for your own SEO efforts, but also for competitor research.

Wrangling Recruitment & Retention

Small businesses used to have a tough time of finding talented employees to add to the team, let alone recruiting them successfully.

Loading...

Today, big data tools provided via recruitment platforms mean that a wellspring of information and analysis can be brought to bear on this critical process.

Likewise once employees are onboard, you can ensure that they are kept happy and satisfied, and thus loyal to the organization, by collecting, collating and scrutinizing data points from across the spectrum and acting to improve the experience of working for your business.

Industry-Specific Operational Improvements

Just as delivery and logistics will be ameliorated through big data apps and services, so too other industries and niches stand to benefit from this trend.

In manufacturing, for example, the rollout of smart, connected devices at many points along the production line mean that even relatively small-scale operations can be monitored, managed and synchronized more effectively.

Loading...

This can even assist in things like preventative maintenance, with individual machines able to be monitored and have their performance compared against big data models so that even minor deviations are detected and faults dealt with preemptively.

Final Thoughts

Big data and small businesses can go hand in glove together, leveling the playing field and allowing startups to stand up to larger rivals.

Loading...

Furthermore, with time these tools naturally become more effective, because the more data they are fed, the higher the accuracy of the analysis, so getting onboard now is wise.

Loading...

Ryan Kh is an experienced blogger, digital content & social marketer. Founder of Catalyst For Business and contributor to search giants like Yahoo Finance, MSN. He is passionate about covering topics like big data, business intelligence, startups & entrepreneurship. Email: ryankh14@icloud.com