Big data is a wonderful concept: the promise of insights from vast quantities of data collected through transactions with customers.
But for SMBs it can be daunting.
For a start, how do you acquire the data?
And there’s so much. How do you analyse the data to draw out insights (because unprocessed data are nothing if not raw noise).
(And in passing, how do you define the insights you seek in the first place?)
Sophisticated data tracking systems, software and analytics deliver benefits to companies large enough to command the budgets and marketing resources required to make meaning of the data.
What about the rest of us? (And by the way, 99% of all Australian business actively trading in 2014, the last data recorded at the ABS, have fewer than 200 employees.)
How do we get the benefits of big data?
There is a source of market, customer, prospect and competitors information available to all of us: it’s the social web.
New analytics technology can now help companies of any size drive value from the social web, by doing the hard work of analysing the data on the social web-based on specific criteria, down to the person, in real-time.
It’s that magic combination that makes the difference: companies can see leads, or influencer conversations, in real-time (or close-to-real-time if that suffices), and can map who’s having the conversations.
Which means you can focus on those individuals expressing an interest in buying something you have to offer.
Which means you can engage in a meaningful conversation about what their needs are, and how your company can meet those needs.
You can react to opportunities, create special offers, and make sales, much more quickly, and with much greater relevance.
Of course, big companies can (and do) use this technology.
But when it comes to the social web, all companies are now equal.