Overcoming Small Business Barriers to Big Data Solutions
In the world of the Internet of Things, Big Data is unavoidable. Big Data simply references having too much data that is also too complex and unstructured for an organization’s current IT infrastructure or compute capacity to accurately analyze or use in order to make sound decisions.
Traditionally speaking, having the ability to process this amount of data was left up to enterprise-size corporations but not anymore. Big Data is not just for big business these days; small to midsize businesses can now afford to track and use their data just as effectively as large enterprises and do so affordably by overcoming the barriers to Big Data solutions.
According to a poll conducted by The Small Business Authority, 60 percent of Small Business Organizations (“SBOs”) responded that their data wasn’t stored in a secure data center. Additionally, only one-third of SBOs said that they had migrated to the cloud. Because of these statements, that same survey found that the biggest barriers to implementing big data solutions are time constraints, cost and lack of knowledge.
How to Overcome These Barriers
Time Constraints: Naturally, the more data you have, the more time it will take to analyze it, which, in turn, often requires more manpower. However, the investment in additional resources for this initiative will be worth the time and effort in the long run. Prioritizing data analytics and finding the right solution to help your organization handle the continuous influx of data will combat the time constraint worry. There are numerous solutions on the market for small businesses, including free services such as Google Analytics, among others. Spending time upfront to research analytics tools will save time on the backend.
Cost: The large enterprise Big Data solutions, like Hadoop, are typically too expensive for most small to midsized business. Companies need to be able to pay only for the capabilities that they need. Instead, look for a solution with a licensing strategy that will allow your company to start small and scale upward as needed. Cloud computing solutions can be more cost effective as they enable an affordable method of capturing large amounts of data. Integrating your data from multiple platforms and various applications is also a great money-saver. Find an integrated solution that is priced right and it will help by collecting all of your data in one place, allowing your analyst to spend less time digging through different applications for useful data.
Lack of Knowledge: This is where leveraging a third-party provider comes into play. If you do not have an IT resource capable of working in analytics or if your firm does not know how to properly vet a candidate for an analytical position, having access to a Big Data solution will be necessary. Training will also be necessary, even for a simple solution like Google Analytics.
One thing is for sure though, analyzing your organization’s data will offer significant results. In a study “Big Data: Harnessing a Game-Changing Asset,” it was noted that “those companies with a well-defined data management strategy that focuses resources on collecting and analyzing the most valuable data tend to financially outperform their competition.”