Big data can be used to boost the activity of small and medium businesses and, when integreated with cloud and mobile computing, it could be “transformational” for small firms, reports UK-based V3, citing Philip Powell, executive dean and professor of management at University of London.
“There is something very counter-cultural about big data and small firms,” said Powell. “Most small firms feel themselves to be ‘relationship businesses’; they gain customers and keep customers via the relationships they build. So anything like ‘data’ sounds hard and nasty and like it will get in the way of those relationships.”
Big Data in Practice
“They need to think about efficiency in their business, using technology and data to understand how their business can be more efficient,” he said. “Small firms value their flexibility but data use and understanding can enable that.”
Kirstin Gillon, technical manager at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales’ IT Faculty, says that while there’s a lot of noise about the benefits of big data and analytics to small businesses, adoption is still pretty low.
“Stop thinking about the word ‘data’ and think about the business and what you need to know. It is useful for you to know about your customers, suppliers and the market.”