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You’ve probably heard or read the term “big data” at least once in the past few years. Maybe your response was a sarcastic “big deal!” thinking that this high-tech concept applies only to large corporations. But this isn’t necessarily true. So much software is now so widely available. As a result, companies of all sizes may be able to devise and implement big data strategies all their own.

Trends, Patterns, Relationships

The term “big data” generally refers to any large set of electronic information that, with the right hardware and software, you can analyze to identify trends, patterns and relationships.

Most notably for businesses, it can help you better understand and predict customer behavior. Specifically, it can help you understand  buying trends (upward and downward) and what products or services customers might be looking for. But big data can also lend insights to your HR function. It helps you better understand employees and potential hires, enabling you to fine-tune your benefits program.

Think of big data as the product recommendation function on Amazon. When you buy anything via the site or app, you see a list of other items you also may be interested in. These recommendations are generated through a patented software process that makes an educated guess, based on historical data, on consumer preferences. These same software tools can make predictions about aspects of your business, too — from sales to marketing return on investment, to employee retention and performance.

Specific Areas

Here are a couple of specific areas where big data may help improve your company:

Sales. Many businesses still adhere to the tried-and-true sales funnel. This includes the various stages of prospecting, assessment, qualification and closing. Overlaying large proprietary consumer-behavior data sets over your customer database may allow you to reach conclusions about the most effective way to close a deal with your ideal prospects.

Inventory management. If your company has been around for a while, you may think you know your inventory pretty well. But do you, really? Using big data, you may be able to better determine and predict which items tend to disappear too quickly and which ones are taking up too much space.

Planning and Optimization

Big data isn’t exactly new anymore. But it continues to evolve with the widespread use of cloud computing. This allows companies of any size to securely store and analyze massive amounts of data online. Our firm can offer assistance in planning and optimizing your technology spending. Contact us to learn more.

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