Big Data and the SME: Prepare to Succeed

Questioning the average individual about fantastic data reveals that best associate fantastic data with fantastic business. Global enterprises like Amazon, American Express, and Netflix are merely a few commonly cited examples. The truth though, is that companies in the SME space are the true drivers of the fantastic data revolution. Studies reveal that businesses with 100 or fewer employees report company intelligence and fantastic data adoption rates that are as much as triple that of their larger corporate counterparts.

There’s a whole host of reasons that fantastic data is proving to be an excellent match for SMEs, but the best important of that has to do with the natural edge that SMEs have over larger competitors: agility. Big data and analytics are all about detecting trends and gleaning insights in demand to adapt to a changing company environment, but it’s the ability to quickly react that makes fantastic data such a natural fit for SMEs. Success, though, does not come without effort.

To wield fantastic data to the greatest advantage, managers of SMEs should prepare their organizations from the ground up to make use of it. Here are the key steps for SMEs to take ahead of getting started with a fantastic data platform.

Define Success When Crafting a Big Data Gameplan

Before making any attempts to integrate a fantastic data solution into an SME, managers should first outline clear-cut goals that they hope to achieve over its use. It’s all too simple to get missed in an ever-advancing world of fantastic data tools and technologies for businesses that haven’t defined what they hope to gain from fantastic data. While this may seem like the obvious first step, it’s one that is often overlooked.

It’s worthwhile to create a working group of key judgment makers to create a consensus view of what company improvements are desired, and how any benefits will be measured. Only then can the work of designing a fantastic data plan proceed. Once there is a extensive agreement among the group, make a short list of measurable goals for the fantastic data project.

Organize Data Collection

Although a typical SME won’t have access to the same volume of data that a larger company can amass, they can angle that perceived deficiency into a strength. In best cases, SMEs will begin with a more focused dataset that actually makes analytics a much easier task. That being said, the more advice that is brought to bear, the ahead the potential for actionable insights.

To build out data collection operations, businesses in the SME space can employ a variety of strategies. An excellent starting point would be available internal operations data such as sales reports, website statistics, and customer service query data. Businesses with an existing CRM system will further be able to extract contact data for analysis as well.

Educate Staff

In demand to backing ongoing data collection efforts and facilitate easier use of analytics and visualization tools, an SME workforce should be trained to grasp how their work connects to the company’s fantastic data plan. It’s helpful to invest in courses that teach employees ability such as the advanced use of Excel, as it’s a commonly accessible platform that is further used for cleaning datasets. By having employees master such skills, they will ahead grasp the underlying concepts of data organization that will keep data operations running smoothly. These employees will comprise the backing system of all future fantastic data initiatives, so they cannot be overlooked.

Decide and Conquer

Only after all of these crucial steps have been completed is an SME ready to embrace a fantastic data future. Failure to prepare in this way ahead of reaching out to vendors and consultants will only result in wasting precious IT dollars and will guarantee subpar returns. After all, although an SME may not have the fantastic data expertise to go it alone, nobody will fathom their market ahead than they do. That’s why creating a clarity of purpose and laying the groundwork beforehand is the best and only way to unlock the true potential of fantastic data for an SME.

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