How can a small home business harness big data?
Big data may seem like the province of far bigger companies, but in fact there is a lot of big data available for home businesses like yours.
If you would like to learn more about what is working well in your home business so you can better reach your customers, big data can help you.
Big Data is a Tool for Insight
Businesses these days have access to all kinds of data, including information on how they are performing and how their customers are interacting with them. This gives rise to huge data sets that are too big to be analyzed using standard office software; these large data sets are known as big data.
Analyzing the patterns within big data can give your business valuable insight into your operations and your customers.
Big Data Sources for Home Internet Businesses
As a home business owner it’s understandable that you might think big data is out of your reach.
After all, as the article “How to Unlock Big Data’s Big Potential” points out, it’s one thing for large corporations to handle big data, but quite another thing for smaller businesses.
However, there are two easily accessible big data sources available for your business right now:
1. Website metrics – you can find these through your web host or by using Google Analytics;
2. Social media stats – Facebook offers Insights on its page and there are several tools to help you measure your Twitter stats, such as Twitter Counter, TweetReach, and TweetEffect.
Both of these data sources are freely available for your business, without any need to buy complicated software to manage or analyze them.
How You Can Use Big Data for Your Business
By using the big data sources available to you, you can gain insights into your business performance and customer behavior:
1. If you are using Facebook to talk about your new product or service, you can use Facebook Insights to see which of your posts are generating the most interaction such as likes and shares;
2. You could use one of the Twitter tools to see which Tweets are performing well and if any are causing your followers to un-follow you;
3. You might choose to use your website stats to see where most of your traffic is coming from, so you can add content that is particularly relevant to your visitors depending on which sites and searches are bringing them to your door.
These are just examples of the many ways you can use big data to build up a picture of what is working best in your business.
You can then use your new found understanding to tailor what you do in order to focus on what works and give your customers more of that.
The best way to start using big data for your home internet business is to start small – focus on one particular area such as how a particular kind of Facebook post is doing, or at what point customers are leaving your website and use the tools available to you to look for trends and patterns that you can then use to steer your business in a profitable direction.
Big data offers helpful insights for small business, and the tools you need to access big data at home are available to you right now.
With big data already at your fingertips, it’s time to make the most of it.
Photo credit: Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including social media, SEO, big data and home internet businesses.