- Data is now easier to collect and cheaper to host, making it accessible to nearly every business.
- The availability of data helps small businesses compete against big corporations, but they may still struggle to use that data in practical ways.
- Three ways small businesses can use big data to grow include checking on credit data about your business, monitoring supply chain data, and keeping an eye on artificial intelligence and automation innovations.
The correlation between the availability of actionable big data and the size of the company with access to it is evident. It might not have been as detailed or accessible as it is now, but having access to information on competitors and customers has historically given large corporations an even greater advantage over small businesses than they already had because they could handle the costs and access the technology and resources.
Over the past decade, however, data has become more accessible to small businesses. Thanks to technology, it’s both easier to collect and cheaper to host, giving virtually every business access to an abundance of data that can be put to good use.
When my credit company first entered the U.K. marketplace, for instance, the average cost per domestic business credit report was 50 pounds (roughly $62). Now, that cost is about 50 pence (close to $0.63). Businesses today can even subscribe to data brokers instead of paying separately for each individual report they want.
Business models are changing, and people are finding different ways to promote their data services. Businesses are taking more creative approaches to making data available, using advertising and “freemium” offerings to widen their reach. And with that said, people are also more educated about the availability of data, which snowballs into it being more widely accessible and widely used, too.
Local governments in