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There is a lot of talk about big data and how it can help businesses learn more about their customers and be more competitive.
When an owner thinks about amassing all of that data and the effort required in organizing and retaining it, the possibilities can be overwhelming. It is essential that a business owner or manager understand how to use big data and what they must do to discover the potential.
Know What You Need and Why
Before setting up systems to record all kinds of data on virtually every subject, a business owner needs to know what information matters to the company.
Generally, data on customer service and operations are the two main areas that most businesses need to focus on first. Basically, you are looking at what affects the bottom line, whether that is cutting costs or increasing revenue.
You also need to get specific with the kind of data you need. This will vary for every business.
For instance, an ecommerce company is going to be focused on geographical location to learn where most of their customers are coming from. A local store is not going to need that information, but it may need to know what age group the majority of customers fall into.
Know Where the Data is Coming From
It's also important to know where the data is coming from and utilizing the programs and applications that can harness that information and organize it into a format that is beneficial for the company.
For example, Google has a lot of tools to help you get data on who is visiting your website. Facebook has tools to figure out who is connecting on your Facebook page.
Surveys, email lists and other methods of communication can also provide a lot of important information that you may need in the future.
If you don't know where your data is, you won't know to access it and could miss out on some important benefits.
In the blog post, "How to Unlock Big Data's Big Potential”, it talks about the issue that many larger companies face since they have accumulated large amounts of data over the years but haven't figured out how to access it.
Data isn't useful if you can't analyze it and learn from the information. You must find a system that can have access to your data and group it or organize it into simple information that is relevant.
Companies that collect data just for data's sake aren't realizing the benefits or the full potential of the information that is stored in the systems.
Instead, they should focus on collecting data that is relevant to their business goals and organize it so that it can be used in marketing, budget analysis and many other aspects of a business.
Only when data is organized and accessible can it have value.
That is when a company gains the edge over its competitors and can become more successful.
Joyce Morse covers an array of topics, among which include small business, marketing and technology.View Joyce Morse`s profile for more