How Small Businesses Can Use Big Data to Get the Maximum Value

There is a common misconception that small businesses don’t need to use big data. But, actually, small businesses need to use it, as this data provides important insight into customers, operations, and competition on the market. Using big data doesn’t require hiring additional data scientists, it’s way more accessible and approachable than many may think.

With a good big data strategy, large volumes of raw data will bring many benefits for small businesses, including better decision-making, better marketing, and more information on business processes.

What is big data?

Big data is a large volume of data, which includes both structured and unstructured data, that a business deals with on a daily basis. Businesses can analyze big data to get insights for strategic business moves and better decision-making.

Small businesses need big data to succeed, as this type of data provides actionable insights for more efficiency and profit. There are many tools for big data available that small businesses with tight budgets can use and manage. One of the most important tools for big  data is considered to be cloud computing. It makes it easier to store and analyze massive amounts of data.

The biggest challenge small businesses may face when dealing with big data is sorting this data and identifying the quality information, which can be used to support certain operations and decision-making.

51% of small-business owners believe data analytics is crucial for the business, however, only 45% are actually using it. Using big data analytics tools will help to get the most out of the collected data. Those are usually machine learning tools, which identify meaningful patterns and derive valuable insights from structured or unstructured raw data.

The importance of using big data for small businesses

With advanced technology, it is now much easier for all small businesses to adopt unique big data technologies.

Big data analytics is gradually becoming a trending practice that many organizations, big and small, are adopting to construct valuable information from big data. It has a high return on investment, as it provides efficiency. Big data presents a great opportunity for small businesses to boost sales and make their operations more efficient without large investments in technologies, hiring new employees, etc.

Big data allows small businesses to analyze risks that are associated with specific business practices. Data visualization tools allow you to visualize all potential risks in a simple way enough for employees to use them, without additional training.

Ignoring big data is not the best approach you can take for your small business. To make sure you get the most value out of big data analytics, it’s recommended to develop a big data strategy to help you identify the opportunities and threats.

The benefits of using big data for small business

There are many advantages that big data can bring to small businesses. The importance of big data is usually overlooked, however, there are many opportunities that small businesses may be missing out on. Here are the main benefits of big data include:

  • Overall cost reduction. Small businesses get the needed information to identify the issues in operations or any inefficiencies. This will help you to resolve them much quicker avoiding bigger problems. Data analysis provides insights that show whether the customers are interested or not in your product or service. This helps to save a lot of money spent on ineffective marketing and advertising. Some big data tools may also reveal which marketing channels are inefficient.
  • Sales and revenue increase. From analyzing big data, small businesses gain valuable insights into customers’ shopping preferences. This helps to better understand how to improve products or services to provide customers with what they want, which eventually leads to more sales and revenue. Insights from big data can be used to adjust your marketing strategy and choose the best products to offer to the right customers.
  • Better decision-making. Big data analysis can have a significant impact on small businesses. The analytics may help to predict whether your product or service is going to succeed. With the right data tools, you can figure out the best pricing for your products compared to the competitors. This allows small business owners to determine the best price and confirm they are in line with other products available on the market.
  • Competitive advantage. With big data, small businesses get more opportunities to focus on customer preferences. Data tools provide the needed insight into consumer behavior and market trends. When you have a solid idea of what your customers think, you will be able to make the customer experience more personalized and better.

The most important thing for small businesses to do before using big data is identifying the goals. You need to know which questions to ask that will help to achieve these goals. Sometimes businesses use wrong metrics, which leads to little to no results.


Even though big data is usually overlooked by small business owners, it offers a huge advantage, which should be used by any business, big or small. Big data helps businesses make better data-driven decisions that lead to efficiency and increased sales.

Big data is affordable and effective, and when analyzed with the right strategy, it can positively impact your small business. It will help to make more informed strategic decisions, implement better marketing campaigns and gain valuable insights into business processes.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.