These days big data mining is not just a catch-phrase, it is actually being used as a potent tool by some organizations for a variety of purposes. Businesses as well governments around the world have perhaps understood that the possibilities of big data are endless. From ensuring security measures (both cyber security and counter-terrorism) to exploring new frontiers in medicines to carvin out perfect marketing and advertising strategies, big data is believed to be playing a pivotal role ahead.
But what exactly is big data?
Big data refers to a new and interesting field of understanding and predicting human behavior by studying large volumes of structured and unstructured data. It is also known as “predictive analytics”. A good example of data mining is analyzing social media posts and feeds, skimming ecommerce websites, examining GPS trackers, scanning ATM machines, scanning security videos and traffic data, studying weather patterns, etc.
The fact that big data mining provides insurmountable possibilities and applications has also made it a valuable commodity. Companies and individuals today are selling and buying terabytes of data from social media, ecommerce sites, and from various other sources. This useful data is then converted into meaningful one so that businesses can hugely benefit from it. This is where the concept of business intelligence has emerged profoundly, which is using predictive analytics to convert massive unstructured data into something searchable and sortable.
How do small businesses tap the potential of big data?
Big data mining is not just helping big companies with big budgets, but is also providing an unprecedented scope of marketing for small businesses. With the help of big data, small businesses are now able to see the better picture of their customers – what and why are they buying, how they prefer to shop, what are they going to buy next, and what are the factors that are influencing their purchasing behaviors.
Big data mining is helping small businesses in the following ways:
1. It helps identify most relevant information for the business
The challenges that small businesses face, especially by the startups, are to figure out where to start and what type of information will be relevant for them. So, the big data is helping small businesses in zeroing in on utilizing certain web scraping tools to harvest colloquial amount of data towards their benefit. Moreover, these tools are able to identify more specific data points in order to evaluate startups’ business performance. The big data solutions make the data sets visual and due to which business owners start asking pertinent questions. As a result, they are able to make right decisions based on genuine results rather than speculation.
2. Provides the fair idea of using right technology
Small businesses have gotten a big boost in analyzing technology requirements with the help of big data analytics. It is now increasingly used to optimize business processes and everyday operations. The various processes that generate data such as the production of machinery in industrial plants, GPS sensors on vehicles and customer management systems etc, are further processed with the help of big data mining. It helps in figuring out right technology so that business operations are improved and productivity is enhanced.
3. It gives flexibility and choice
The big data analytics ease out heavy cost and time burden of small businesses because of the fact that marketing-automation system works independently of the IT department. This eventually helps them to lay out requirements, cost justifications and system requirements, which in turn helps them researching and choosing the best solution that meets the needs. The big data solutions for small businesses allow them to enhance capabilities for leveraging the solutions and systems that are already in place.
4. It helps identify trends
The big data mining allows monitoring patterns and trends, which helps in predicting where things are going, how and why the demand for products or services will change over time. For example, there are numerous trending headlines that flash across social media every day. There are certain software tools that assemble trending data and use it to answer the specific questions for businesses. Using big data, the online, as well as offline customer behavior, is increasingly being analyzed to microscopic details. Therefore, this in-depth analysis of trends and patterns is effectively improving marketing for small businesses.
5. Helps in staying ahead in the competition
Previously, understanding the competition for businesses was limited, however, now it is quite easier for them to find out what their competitors are up to, thanks to big data. The availability of financial data, popularity of products and services in Google Trends, social media analysis and customer reviews and feedbacks – these are all achievable today with the help of big data mining. The businesses are now able to stay one step ahead by keeping up-to-date on the latest big data technologies and uses.
These are some of the important uses of big data for small, medium and large businesses. In this age of innovation, big data can come up with many more surprises and applications. The surface has just been scratched; let’s see what the future holds!