Small Data: Leveraging Small Business Data

Big Data is here to stay in the business world. This term defines the management and analysis of large amounts of data, so much that they could not be studied and processed with traditional software. Thanks to this complex analysis, this enormous volume of data becomes useful information for making decisions. Virtually any sector can benefit from Big Data, even sports.

Major sports leagues, such as the NBA or the NFL, already have data analysis systems in place to help teams prepare strategy for a game. They take into account many variables, from the time it is going to do to the statistics of the players. Thus, they better decide the line-up and what tactics to use. Similarly, companies can analyze thousands of data to segment their customers and understand them better, to anticipate their wishes and to optimize processes and save money.

According to the National Observatory of Technology and Society (ONTSI), in 2018 11% of Spanish companies and 12% of European companies used Big Data techniques. It is still a fairly small percentage, but in a clear upward trend. However, it depends a lot on the size of the company; Three out of ten large Spanish companies (more than 250 employees) use Big Data, but only one in ten if we refer to small ones. Big Data techniques represent a significant investment, often beyond the reach of SMEs. However, it is possible to leverage the data that a business collects over time without shelling out a lot of money. Faced with Big Data, SMEs can use Small Data or database marketing.

As explained from BeeDIGITAL, Small Data consists of collecting a smaller amount of data than Big Data, which makes its analysis and management easier. In this way, it becomes accessible and useful information to make better decisions. Its experts have compiled the main advantages of database marketing for companies that want to start using it: 1. Data is easy to get

Big Data uses complex algorithms and mathematical operations to extract practical information from millions of data. On the other hand, Small Data is based on everyday data, such as those provided by social networks (number of likes, shared publications, interaction, comments …) or those provided by consumers themselves (previous transactions with the company, name , address, interests and tastes …).

2. Helps define the potential or final consumer

Analyzing and studying all the information that the company collects will allow us to create a fictitious profile of our potential consumer: where they live, what they need, what they like, what motivates them to buy …

3. Allows you to create personalized experiences

The conclusions drawn from Small Data make us better acquainted with the user. In this way, you can create personalized experiences tailored to your tastes and needs.

4. Expand your sales possibilities

A campaign that targets just the consumer who is most likely to buy will be most successful. Likewise, a personalized experience will create a positive memory in the consumer, which will make him repeat. Similarly, if we know our customers, we can anticipate their needs. For example, we may send you product offers associated with others who have purchased before.

5. Identify the most valuable consumers

Not all potential consumers will be an end customer; You have to know how to identify which ones have more options to buy and direct your efforts to them. Some will be especially interested and will only need a little push to buy. Others may have a large budget and could make a big sale. A good Small Data analysis can help us identify the audience we are really interested in selling to.

6. Helps improve return on investment of campaigns

Investing in database marketing translates to more benefits. In short, creating better focused and personalized campaigns will mean a higher success rate.

How to implement Small Data in SMEs
Since there are many advantages of database marketing, from BeeDIGITAL they explain what are the first steps that an SME must take to start using it:

Create databases

Having a good collection of databases is the mainstay of Small Data. Databases are collections of information, organized so that it is easy to find what we are looking for. There are many types: suppliers, inventory …

To increase sales, the most useful database is the one that organizes customers or leads, that is, people who have contacted the company and left their data, but have not bought yet. This database will include personal information, purchases or past interactions of the customer with the company (if you left your data by mail, if you called by phone …). In some sectors, it is also easy to include details about future purchases, to anticipate user needs; For example, a veterinarian will include the vaccination dates to send a reminder to their clients. It is essential to keep the database up to date and try to expand it (for example, get more people to register on the web and give us their email).

Segment the information

A database is only single numbers if it is not organized correctly. Therefore, it is important to plan and consider what data will be really useful for the company. For example, we can separate those customers who have only contacted the company from those who are already recurring. Or distinguish between those who interact on social networks from those who prefer personal contact or by phone. Thus, we can better direct our actions depending on where a person is in the buying process (if they have only contacted us, if they are already a customer, if they are regular …) and their preferences when buying. .

Use a CRM

The easiest way to keep a database is with a spreadsheet, like those in Excel. However, you can get much more out of them with CRM platforms. These programs are customer relationship management applications. They help to centralize all the databases in a single program and analyze them so that we better know the consumers and can anticipate their needs. They also include functions to automate certain tasks and directly manage customer acquisition and loyalty campaigns.

Use analysis tools

The best way to draw conclusions from hundreds of data is to see it represented graphically. A basic analysis with simple graphs can be achieved with a spreadsheet (in Excel, for example). However, there are other platforms that allow you to collect large numbers of numbers, analyze them, manage them and shape them. In addition, in the digital age we must not forget to extract as much information as possible from our website, for which web analytics tools are essential.

Data visualization

Google Data Studio is a free tool that allows you to represent complex information in a database in a simple and graphical way. With it you can make personalized reports or interactive dashboards with which to better see the evolution and trends of the variables that interest us (number of sales, leads, blog reading time, posts shared on social networks …). There are many other alternatives, although some of them require some programming knowledge: Microsoft Power BI, SAS, Python, Tableau …

Web Analytics

The best known platform is undoubtedly Google Analytics. This free tool shows all the information related to a web page and, especially, where the traffic comes from (from paid campaigns, from search engines, from a direct link …). With this platform, we can obtain reports on what users do on our website and in what ways we obtain more visits. In this way, we will know what to enhance in our business and if there are any problems that we must improve. There are some other alternatives to Google Analytics with many other functions, such as Open Web Analytics, Matomo or Adobe Analytics. “Big Data is out of the reach of many small companies, which cannot bear the cost of software capable of doing such algorithms. However, an SME collects a lot of information in its day to day only with the people who interact with it on social networks or those who browse its website. All this data can be transformed into truly practical information, they are not simple numbers ” comments Ignacio Manrique de Lara Fern├índez, Marketing Director of BeeDIGITAL, who also encourages all SMEs to take advantage of the potential of this information. “You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make better decisions with database marketing.”

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