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By: Mallory Bowers
Big data has gotten quite a bit of press lately. The very term seems to suggest that it's something for major companies and other large institutions to use. However, as technology advances, it's actually feasible for smaller businesses to benefit from big data as well. The following are some of the ways that you, as a small or mid-sized business owner or manager, can take advantage of the latest trends in big data.
Aside from tracking vital stats such as traffic, bounce rates, and conversion rates you can use several tools to collect valuable insights about your visitors.
You can use data to hire the best help, save money on equipment and improve overall efficiency for your business.
While it's important to learn as much as possible about your customers, that's far from the only reason to collect data. You can also gain a great deal by expanding your view and turning your view upon the wider world. With social monitoring and following trending topics and products on Google, Facebook, and other popular sites you can often predict what the future holds for your industry. Keep up with the latest hashtags on Twitter and Instagram and track popular products on Amazon (even if you're not doing e-commerce). Even general news and trends regarding politics, the economy, and society give you clues about people's preferences and spending patterns.
It's also crucial to track data related to your competitors. There are many analytics tools to help you gauge your competition in the marketplace and on social media. Facebook Insights, for example, can provide you with data on any Facebook page. You can use link tracking tools to identify competitors' backlinks and free social media monitoring tools to find out what people are saying about them (and you as well).
There are innumerable ways to benefit from data. The first step is to identify your needs and decide what kind of data will help you the most. Keep an open mind and always look for new ways to learn more about your business, customers, competitors, and the world at large. As technology progresses, big data will become more and more accessible to everyone. It's up to you to make the most of this knowledge.
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