Is “big data” really useable data for small and medium size   companies?

Is “big data” really useable data for small and medium size companies?

The most common topic in the business world today seems to be “big data” – or business intelligence – or one of the other phrases used to describe it.  And the commentary is almost always directed at large businesses, and those with sophisticated information systems in place.  What data does your small/medium sized business need?  How can you get them simply, effectively, and, at the same time, make them really useful?   You can.  And you should.  One key to growing a business and keeping a competitive edge is knowing the key drivers of the business and having an actionable strategy for moving forward.  Those both require information – facts, figures.      There are four different kinds of data any business needs: internal company data competitive intelligence market research industry/business environment information   Here, we’re going to talk about these four kinds and what intelligence each can provide.  Later in this blog series we’ll discuss methods for getting each of those kinds of data, and strategies for analyzing and organizing them.   To get started on your “big data” plan, what information do you need for your business?  What would be helpful to you?  What would allow you to measure success, and what would tell you where there are issues you need to get working on.  And when we talk about measuring success, we are talking about metrics, or the numbers that tell us what is going on in the company.  Let’s look at some possibilities for each of the key types of information.   Internal company info – all companies have accounting and financial information, and sales...