Small business owners around the globe agree that the analytics movement has had a profound effect on their operations. By gathering more information on their customers, they can improve their approach to advertising and sales. From an abstract standpoint, this principle makes perfect sense. But currently, marketers are asking the question - what true tangible effect does the implementation of big data have? Is it really adding money to companies' bottom lines?
Clear and present profits
Recent research indicates that slowly but surely, yes, big data is paying off. According to ZDNet, survey data shows progress in this area. Tech Pro Research polled 144 respondents worldwide, many of them from small businesses, to discuss their big data implementation endeavors. The firm discovered that 46 percent of these entrepreneurs are now aboard the data bandwagon - 8 percent say they've already implemented data solutions, 12 percent say they're in the process of ushering them in and 26 percent say they have future plans to do so. These numbers show significant progress from just a few years ago, when most small businesses doubted they had the resources required to embrace big data.
Among those businesses that have brought about data-based initiatives, 32 percent say they've seen a "clear and compelling return on investment" from the goals they've set out, while 50 percent say they've seen "some discernable payoff." Only 4 percent say big data has had no value.
"In short, big data is not a hyped-up concept that's likely to prove short-lived, consuming resources without delivering results," stated Teena Hammond, a senior editor at TechRepublic, according to ZDNet. "Rather, it's a burgeoning industry that's well on its way to becoming solidly established across organizations of all kinds."
An employment boom
As big data initiatives become more common and profitable, they should lead to a groundswell of new employment opportunities for IT professionals. ZDNet recently speculated that jobs related to data analysis should be much easier to come by in the years ahead. Among organizations that have implemented big data or plan to do so, 53 percent say they intend to hire additional employees in the field, according to Tech Pro - however, 46 percent report difficulties finding qualified candidates for big data jobs.
One area in particular that demands more talent is data quality. All organizations that delve into big data need talented technicians who can ensure the accuracy of their information. If companies are adept in this regard, they can better ensure the long-term efficacy of their analytical initiatives.