Big Data, Small Business, Bigger Opportunities
Big data is not just for big enterprise – big data analytics can be useful for small business too. A commonly heard statement these days is “big data offers opportunities for small business” but there are few case studies or articles with any examples or actual supporting information.
An interesting article by Chris Taylor has been published on Harvard Business Review talking about “Big Data for the Rest of Us”, primarily small businesses and lessons that can be learned from their experiences tackling the big data issue and the opportunities that they can lead to.
The article utilises a mini case study of wine producer VinoEno, and their aim of building a global wine recommendation system (see the video pitch at BloombergBusinessWeek: The Pitch), and highlights five challenges company faced when aiming to make the experience of wine selection easier through the application of big data techniques. The five challenges are:
- finding people who understand the analytical aspect of big data
- deciding which big data tools to use
- understanding which kinds of data to focus upon
- changing mind sets and perceptions of expectations
- how to determine success
Other small businesses are doing great things with big data and analytics including:
- Affectiva Inc. who are building emotion measurement systems to offer insights into consumer reactions to brand products.
- Recorded Future Inc. who are utilising big data analytics to “understand relationships between entities and events over time.”
- QI Healthcare combines data from hospital systems to analyse ways to improve patient care (source: Dayton Daily News)
- Backupify stores over 200 TB of data, 1.2 billion emails, and 350 million documents, for over 175,000 users