Small Business Technology News

Big Data For Small Businesses

Written by Tim Morral
Published: 12/26/2012

Over the next ten years, insights gleaned from big data will enable entrepreneurs to make smarter business decisions, according to a recent Intuit forecast.

Big data, or the aggregation of large amounts of data from many different sources, is already driving decision-making in large corporations and enterprises. By sifting through vast data sets acquired through a variety of online and offline channels, companies can minimize uncertainty and make informed decisions based on actual customer behaviors.

Big Data for Small Businesses

In general, the use of big data is beyond the reach of small businesses, even those interested in competing against big companies. But according to a new report by Intuit, the next decade will be characterized by a "new data democracy" -- a technology environment that enables small businesses and consumers to leverage the same big data benefits that large corporations enjoy today.

"Big data has long been seen as a big opportunity for big business," said Brad Smith, Intuit president and chief executive officer. "We actually think that the biggest opportunity is giving consumers and small businesses the power of data. We look forward to a new era where big data benefits the little guy."

Some of the key trends to look for in big data include:

  • Data democracy. Advances in analytical technologies will give consumers and small businesses the ability to cull targeted insights from large quantities of raw information. In essence, data will join capital and labor as an essential business resource category.
  • Consumer use of big data. Increasingly, individual consumers will use mobile devices and other technologies to use big data as a tool for making purchase decisions and connecting with other people online.
  • Big data for small businesses. Intuit forecasts that big data will migrate from Wall Street to Main Street, equipping small businesses with powerful tools that will enable them to operate more efficiently, locate new customers and improve bottom line results.

"This research details how consumers and small businesses will benefit from the growth of big data," said Steve King, partner at Emergent Research. "We are at the onset of a data revolution that will provide new and meaningful ways for data-empowered consumers and small businesses to connect and engage with their communities, make decisions and simplify their lives."

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