Unless you were living under a rock for the past 10 years, you’ve probably heard of the term, big data. It was a moniker that was given to the industry and school of thought around collecting and visualizing data. This included analytics, dashboards, graphs and other such software. But there was a very large piece of the puzzle missing in the big data 1.0 era: intelligence.
Companies and people were able to see their data, but the software wasn’t able to tell them what that data meant. Being in marketing, the biggest indicator of this problem was Google Analytics and the way business owners were using it. I’ve had countless calls where business owners would ask the same questions over and over again about their website analytics: “What does bounce rate mean?” “My time on site is low, is that bad?” and “What does it mean when I have a lot of visitors but not that many page views?”
But this period, bereft of insights, will soon be coming to an end. There is a new wave of companies and technologies that are changing how data is handled. Instead of simply visualizing and presenting data, the big data 2.0 groups will be interpreting your data and giving insights and actionable advice on it.
No longer for the big boys
It used to be that insights into what your data was telling you were exclusively reserved for enterprise level companies. It was they who could afford data scientists, analysts, and modelers to wrangle their data and present solutions rather than more questions. But with the advent and advances in deep machine learning and AI (artificial intelligence) software and machines are now able to provide many of these insights to the general business community.
In fact, as is usually the case, as technologies advance and become democratized, the price points drop and become affordable for small-business owners. For instance, a company called Diib recently launched their analytics intelligence tool. It ties into a company’s existing website analytics software and tells the user in plain English what is going on with the website. Now, business owners don’t have to have a PhD in data analytics to know how their website is doing and how they can improve it.
This type of tech used to cost tens of thousands of dollars, just a year or two ago. But the speed of advancement has driven the price down to about a dollar per day. And for entrepreneurs, big data 2.0 is just starting to pay dividends.
Leveling the playing field
For the same reason that I’d mentioned above, enterprise level companies have always had an advantage over small businesses because of the size of their checkbook. But that’s quickly changing. By giving computers and programs the ability to think and analyze, the tech industry has given small business owners access to intelligence that previously only came with doctorate level employees (a cost few small business owners could afford).
And while I’ve highlighted how this will help with website analytics, the insights don’t stop there. There are dozens of financial programs that will help analyze your balance sheet (like TaxAlli) and give you an understanding that previously would have only come with a high-priced CFO on staff. Human resources, IT, and facilities are all similarly being upgraded with big data 2.0 insights.
Being a small business owner in this new age of intelligence means that you now have access to levels of insight that were previously unattainable in the small business realm. Now go out there and leverage these advancements and become a data powerhouse.