Big data has been making waves in the business world for the last 15 years. People were generating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day, as of two years ago. That number is going to keep getting exponentially bigger as we see the Internet of Things and remote work and digital collaboration increase.

Big Data can be a challenge for small business owners, who might not have as much access to in-house data as giant corporations. It also offers an opportunity to compete against those very same corporations. Big Data isn’t going anywhere. In fact, its adoption increased by 42% between the years 2015 and 2018. Here are some more reasons small businesses should care about Big Data.

1. Big Data Helps Reduce Costs

As a small business owner, it’s beyond important for your business to stay competitive. Big Data can offer unparalleled insights into your business operations. You’ll be able to see exactly how much your business costs to run, which will help you pinpoint areas where you can save.

One example might be if you were to offer a gift-wrapping service at your POS. Big Data could help you identify that customers aren’t taking advantage of that service. You’ll be able to stop buying wrapping paper and ribbon, so you can spend that money on something else instead.

An even clearer example would be digital marketing. Imagine you’d allocated $1,000 a month for a digital marketing budget. Maybe you just decide to drop it all into a PPC campaign and see what happens.

That’s essentially no better than gambling. There’s also no way of telling if you’re getting the most value for your spending.

Big Data will be able to tell you how your digital marketing assets are performing, down to an almost molecular level. You’ll be able to see which adds appeal best to which demographics. You’ll also be given ideas for additional keywords to investigate, which could play into other areas of your digital marketing as well.

2. Big Data Increases Sales

Big Data can also help your business make more sales and generate more conversions. Much of this has to do with some of the techniques we’ve already mentioned. It’s impossible to overstate the power and importance of precisely targeted advertising.

That’s just the beginning, though. Big Data is the engine that fuels personalized recommendations, for instance. You can use Big Data to create powerful machine learning algorithms that will often be able to predict what your customers want before they even know themselves.

Big Data can also help you see behind the scenes of your other business operations, as well. It could help you see when’s the best time to post content to your social media channels, for example. Those likes and retweets can offer even more data which can help you further fine-tune your business strategies.

3. Big Data Powers Deep Learning

Deep learning is an offshoot of machine learning. It’s uniquely equipped to power personalized recommendations, which we’ve already spoken about. Deep learning creates a deep, realistic model of your customers’ behavior, which can be translated into actual business strategies.

That’s just the beginning of what deep learning can do, however. Deep learning can be used to power chatbots on your website, for instance. Chatbots result in a more positive customer experience, which also leads to more sales.

It also helps increase your reputation and generate more word-of-mouth recommendations.

4. Brings Dark Data To Light

Dark Data isn’t as sinister as it sounds. Dark Data just means data that isn’t being used by an organization. It is projected that Dark Data will account for 93% of all data by 2020.

Just think what you could do with all of that data. The trouble is, you can’t, because you don’t even know what it is, let alone what it’s good for.

Examples of Dark Data include unused customer information, service tickets, or undeleted email attachments. One example of how this Dark Data can be turned into actionable insights would be details on how a customer contacts your organization.

Information from service tickets could indicate that a customer always communicates via email, for instance. This lets you know that when you have a new product this customer is likely to be interested in, email is the best place to reach them.

It’s hard to say what other marketable insights Dark Data could yield. It’s hard to predict what kind of insights rich data could yield. It’s a fairly new discipline and we have yet to even scratch the surface about what gigabytes of multichannel marketing data might yield.

Big Data has changed the way that business is conducted completely, in the span of just 15 years. It’s difficult to imagine what it might look like in another 15 years. One thing is for certain, Big Data is going to play an increasingly major role in helping small businesses remain competitive and successful.

The Internet has been a major boon for independent business. Things like social media and digital marketing have helped smaller organizations compete against the majors, using the same tools they use themselves.

Integrating Big Data into your workflow now will help you to remain ready and ahead of the curve. That’s where you want to be when it comes to business technology.

Ready To Find Out How Big Data Can Help Your Business?

Big Data has revolutionized the way we do business. It levels the playing field, giving independent business owners, giving them the same opportunities and resources as the largest corporations on Earth.

If you’re ready to find out how Big Data can help your business thrive, start here.