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  • Writer's pictureAlastair Majury

Why Small Businesses Need Big Data

Thanks to modern technology, getting into big data is even easier. Big data is no longer reserved for only large businesses; smaller entities can, and arguably should, get in on the digital revolution and change the way they use data to drive their businesses.

In essence, big data refers to large quantities of data. There are the 3 Vs to big data that separates it from regular data sets: Volume, Variety, and Velocity. The sheer amount of data in these sets come from diverse sources and are run through advanced analytics that can allow for decisions to be made in real-time. Companies are using big data to accomplish numerous business-related tasks, from identifying patterns to leverage their marketing to determining root causes of failures.

In the past, getting into big data has been prohibitive for small businesses. Fortunately, technological advances in recent years have helped to alleviate the transition. Google’s MapReduce paper and Yahoo’s Hadoop projects have paved the way to resolving the high costs associated with storage. User-generated data coming from sensors, mobile devices, and social media have become increasingly valuable in contrast to the insufficient data to which companies previously had immediate access. With all of these obstacles addressed, what is stopping small businesses from getting into big data? Below are three more reasons to consider.

The first reason is scalability. Big data infrastructure is easier to scale with a business as it grows. By taking the plunge and adapting to big data now, businesses can focus resources on other tasks long-term instead of adapting their infrastructure later. The second reason is functionality. Having such a vast amount of data unleashes numerous possibilities in the ways of using it, enabling businesses to work with data in new ways to generate insights. Such insights can help businesses to innovate and stay on top in rapidly changing markets. The last reason is speed, simply that big data lets businesses do more in less time. Gone are the days of SQL-based queries that take a lot of time yet provide relatively limited results.

Big data has taken over the tech world and has been adopted by big businesses, and smaller businesses ought to follow suit. With the increasing ease of access and all the potential that lies in big data, now is the prime time to get involved.

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