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Lately, the value and the overall (great) significance of data appears to have made its way into the thoughts of small and medium businesses (SMBs) that are more and more integrating them into their strategies. Even the term “big data” does not seem to create fear or stress anymore. Well, the reality is that it couldn’t have been otherwise, since data analytics were introduced to the highly competitive market of SMBs. Undoubtedly, small and medium businesses are now trying to take advantage of the available data in order to create and manage the opportunities for further growth and profitability.
Today, big data is drastically changing business rules and operations, creating opportunities and challenges for small and medium businesses. The convergence of the three primary and interconnected IT trends -cloud, mobile and social- gives rise to platforms that are data-rich and highly competitive in terms of cost. Platforms that can become the basis for the foundation of new businesses, bringing growth and increased revenue for both companies and their owners, contributing to local economies and promoting international business transactions and commerce.
According to the findings of a recent survey conducted by Emergent Research, the continuous increase of the digital data volume is expected to sky-rocket the use of analytics by both large organizations and smaller businesses. At the same time, it is pointed out that the data coming from the businesses themselves, in combination to those coming from the cloud, will continue to help producing new ideas and to provide a deeper understanding of what exactly the customers need and want, what they like and what keeps them happy. The same study argues that the development of new data sources and unique analytics, will steer business development, on a global level, for the next decade. As a matter of fact, Emergent Research estimates that by 2020, small and medium businesses will have fully adopted data coming from the cloud and analytical tools.
This is especially true since modern SMBs have the ability to utilize a wide range of applications, IT systems and software platforms, such as ERP, CRM etc., in order to automate their daily operations and administrative processes and tasks, taking a more thorough look into their own big data. At the same time, small and medium businesses can have full knowledge and control over a number of operations, such as accounting, cash-flows, budgeting, inventory management, corporate fleet management, human resources, project management and so on.
As a conclusion, the real-time optimization of data analytics enables small and medium businesses to have a more realistic view of their different departments, such as sales, management and marketing. In any given moment, they can know what is effective and what is required in order to make the necessary changes in areas that are not as effective as they should be. By managing their own data, small and medium businesses implement a wide range of solutions, most of which are cloud-based, in order to improve their operations and administrative intelligence and productivity, while at the same time reducing the (obsolete) manual tasks.