Smooth Your Way Into Big Data

Having access to a lot of data isn’t enough for businesses. They must know how to integrate it into their processes and provide access to their staff for it to be useful. This can be challenging to small companies or those on a limited budget.

data_mgmtHowever, you can slowly integrate it into your systems and not become overwhelmed.

Understand What Problem You are Trying to Solve

The first step comes in figuring out why you need big data. What problem are you trying to solve? The answer may be multiple problems or it may focus on one specific thing such as gaining new customers.

Once you know why you need big data, you can then decide what kind of data is useful to you. You don’t want to collect more data just for the sake of collecting. On the other hand, you want to keep any information that you think will be useful in the future as your business grows.

Know Where You are Getting the Data

The next step is to figure out where you will get the information. Will you send out surveys or collect certain data when people sign up for a newsletter or special discounts? Will you need to use outside sources? This helps you know how much work will go into compiling the data and allow you to establish a cost for retrieval.

You also need to know who you will use to compile the big data. You need someone that is knowledgeable about these systems and can help you provide the right solution.

At the same time, you must figure out how to integrate it with your current systems or replace them with something new. Information is only good when it is accessible and useful.

Figure out if you will incorporate it into your current CRM or create a new database for everyone to have access to.

Start Out Slow

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is your company. Begin by using data that you already have access to such as email addresses and other customer information.

Look for a system that can include that data or incorporate it into your current one. Make sure staff knows about the information and how to access it.

Only add new information when you have a purpose for it. Decide what kind of information would be useful and how you will go about getting it.

For example, maybe you want to start sending out e-newsletters to your customers but you don’t have their email addresses.

You can put a page on your website telling them about your new newsletter or Tweet about it or post it with a link to where they can go to sign up. You can also offer a free deal or big discount if people will give you their email addresses and opt in to the newsletter. This is an easy way to get more information about your customers that you can use later on in many other ways.

As the article, “Little wins key to big data success” says, small improvements are just as valuable and may be more realistic for those that incorporate big data.

Integrating a lot of information into your system can feel overwhelming. Begin by including the data that is most important for your business goals. After all, big data is only beneficial if it has a purpose for your business.

About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including business and technology.