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Small businesses using big data to level the playing field

Richard Jones Archive
Some analysts believe big data could democratize the business landscape, because it is no longer exclusive to the largest corporations. As companies big and small harness a vast array of structured and unstructured content and use the right tools in their belts, they might find they can more quickly make better decisions that rely on data quality and evidence rather than intuition.

Advances in cloud technology have made big data cheaper and more accessible for small and medium-sized companies, The Washington Post reports. Now that big data is within their reach, more independent operations - much like their larger counterparts - are finding better uses for their data than entering it into Excel spreadsheets.

With advanced analytics tools, small business owners can actually tap into the data that's being generated about their companies and use it to become more successful, according to Forbes. The source gives the example of an independent bakery owner who notices that sales of a particular cupcake spike on the third Tuesday in October, but isn't sure why. Using big data correlations, he/she can see that the jump in transactions took place the day after a customer posted a raving review on a ratings page. With that information, the bakery owner can then encourage other shoppers to create posts, and offer them coupons or discounts for doing so.