To many executives of small to midsized businesses, Big Data isn’t even a part of their lingo, much less on their IT radar screen. From what I’ve read, though, just because you may not call it “Big Data” doesn’t mean you aren’t already dealing with it. The size of the data may be relative to the size of your company.
But my focus isn’t the size of your Big Data; it’s whether Big Data projects provide value for small to midsize businesses.
The answer is yes, but with some caveats. Let me explain. A company may have only 1 terabyte of data to analyze, but it may still be less effective than an enterprise with 100 terabytes of data to comb through. According to a post from the SMB Group:
Business that can find the right needles in the data haystack more quickly, easily and reliably than competitors can reap enormous market advantages. SMB Group’s 2012 Routes to Market Study shows that SMBs that have deployed business intelligence and analytics solutions are 51% more likely than peers to expect revenues to rise.
So having solutions in place to analyze and sort your mounds of data can make a huge difference to your bottom line. But, for SMBs, that bottom line may not be large enough to finance a business intelligence solution designed to analyze Big Data, which is a sort of Catch 22.
The key to a successful Big Data implementation depends on having the right tools and people to make it happen while ensuring that the data analyzed will bring value to your company and that expenses will bring a decent ROI. In a recent blog post, Gary Evans, CTO for EMC Ireland explained that he believes “everybody can gain value from Big Data in some way.” His advice for small to midsized businesses:
It’s important for these organizations to understand that Big Data is not restricted to large enterprises only, and they should not feel intimidated by the challenge that lies ahead.
According to Evans, Big Data works for different sized businesses in many industries, including insurance, health care and banking.
Even though some claim the Big Data trend is hype, now is the time to consider whether your current data tools are sufficient to mine the depths of data that you have available, and if they will be efficient at this job as the speed and volume of data collection continues to accelerate. If you answer “no” to either question, it may be time to consider taking on a Big Data initiative.