SMB and Big Data: You Don’t Need To Be A Big Business to Get The Most Out of Big Data
Cloud computing is a great leveller for small business. By eliminating the need for high upfront investment into hardware, SMB and SME can get their hands on the same technologies that big business use. Another area that cloud computing that has had great impact is data insights. Today’s businesses run on data- whether it’s data about customers, inventory, operations or logistics. And there’s not enough time in the day or an Excel spreadsheet big enough to get to grips with it all yourself manually.
So what is Big Data?
Big data is a term for captured data from inside your company that is so large or complex it needs either to be captured, analysed, shared, displayed or stored in non-traditional ways. If you are able to capture, analyse and act on important trends in the form of data insight it can be crucial for your business decision making.
How Does Cloud Help SMB and Big Data?
According to Microsoft In Business, Cloud helps in the connect disparate data sources- a lot of business run different applications. Think accounting software in the office, inventory data in the warehouse, retails data from online and in store, and customer data in a CRM system. In an ideal world- all of these different data sources could collate together, or you would be able to connect with some manual processes. But the reality for many small businesses it’s too hard to bring them together in a coherent way.
If you choose business tools that integrate with one another- that solves half your problem. Take Financials for Office 365, it can manage your general ledger, inventory and warehousing- then you could have CRM online as one source for your relationship data- then you can use Power BI- it’s free to join, as a analytics and data visualisation tool to identify patterns and changes. All of these solutions connect and share data in a few easy clicks- and you can access vital information from each one in the other.
These tools can help you make business decisions with confidence. Data also holds the key to identifying trends, process improvements and costs savings. It’s those business decisions that could be the difference from surviving and thriving. To learn more about SMB and big data- download this eBook from Microsoft “The Cloud for insights eBook.”