Technology has always played a crucial role in the world of business. However, in more recent years, it really feels like it has become more critical than ever before.
As any regular visitor to our site will know, companies across a host of industries are now able to access an array of tools as they target business growth. However, one of the key trends of the past few years has been about taking advantage of one vital element: information.
The age of ‘big data’ is here and it offers many potential benefits to businesses that are willing to fully embrace it.
The importance of analytics
For those who are new to the concept, big data refers to just that – large amounts of information that have been collected or are available to a company. As Investopedia explains, the data can come from a range of sources in large volumes, while it can be either structured or unstructured. In basic terms, businesses can analyze and assess the information to gain insights that can be used in many areas of their work.
Plenty of different sectors have embraced the concept. For instance, we have outlined how it has played a role in the hospitality industry in the past. Data analysis has also proven vital in different business functions including marketing, as it has given companies a chance to create more personalized content.
Processing masses of data sounds like a big job, so it would be understandable if you thought the concept was purely for larger organizations. However, that is simply not the case, as there are many tools emerging to help smaller firms get in on the act as well. For example, Wix Analytics outlines how every site is published through its service features analysis tools. It explains that users can review traffic and visitor behavior, get recommendations on moving forward and then act to improve results. This is explained in a three-step process, firstly to track, then to understand, and then to act.
The impact on SMEs
Research has also suggested that many small businesses are acutely aware of the potential benefits of using analytics.
Earlier this month, SCORE and Software Advice published a study that examined how smaller firms are embracing technology. It found that nine out of ten small businesses chose to convert some element of their operations to digital in 2020, with 38 percent making a permanent move into the world of business intelligence, reporting, and analytics software. The research added that a further 22 percent adopted such services temporarily. Other software that proved popular with small businesses in 2020 included project management tools and video conferencing services.
The SCORE findings also revealed the impact that new software was having on small firms, with many reporting increased levels of productivity, higher customer engagement, and increased sales. Also, it hinted that more companies could embrace tools like analytics in the future, as 45 percent of small business owners said they plan to increase technology investment across this year.
So, with that in mind, what could the future ultimately hold? Big things are expected of a range of new innovations, from virtual and augmented reality to artificial intelligence and so much more. However, research has also hinted that big data looks set for major success.
Towards the end of last year, a report published by Fortune Business Insights stated that the global big data technology market was worth just over $41 billion in 2019. It also anticipated that the area would enjoy massive growth, with it reaching a value of $116.07 billion by the end of 2027. The report added that this equated to a compound annual growth rate of 14 percent across the period of 2020 to 2027.
The report went on to suggest that several factors have had an impact on market growth, while it added that a growing number of product innovations were expected in the coming years. It explained that the level of competition in the market means companies are looking to integrate new concepts into their offerings, including artificial intelligence and machine learning. The report added that North America was expected to have the largest market share for big data technology in the near future, while the Asia Pacific region is set to rise as well.
Big data, big boost
All in all, the detail above suggests that big data looks set to have a significant impact on both large and small businesses in the years to come. Innovation is one of several key issues to emerge in the business world across recent years, but it seems apparent that it is not just for larger organizations.
Whether they are using it to enhance their website performance or to tackle another element of their operations, SMEs can get a big boost from the benefits it offers. It will be intriguing to see how their use of such information develops in the near future.