Small business guide to data protection. 2. ) This article explores the cloud-hosting concept and looks at some top cloud-hosting providers for small-business needs. Only then can an SMB owner make informed decisions that spur business growth. Here's a look at some of the ways companies capture consumer data, what exactly they do with that information, and how you can use the same techniques for your own business purposes. Walmart, the world’s largest retailer according to Forbes, reported USD 482.13 billion in revenue and USD 14.7 billion net income as of February 2016. In addition, data loss can cause embarrassment, result in damage to a company’s reputation, and even drastically affect stock prices for years. We’ll see some real-world examples, from the video-game company that tweaks its products on the fly to the zoo that analyses climate data … Or you can use research that has already been done. The ABS provides a number of services to small business including: statistics on your community But mostly it just sat hopelessly trapped in handwritten ledgers, filing cabinets, and floppy disks, a precious resource untapped. Online document products can enable a business to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations online. Data processing is a large and growing field. By diving in to tackle big data with the right tools, small business owners can use big data to improve their results. Data can drive competitive advantage by providing a better understanding of customers and better design and execution of marketing programs. Key Takeaways Data is increasingly valuable for companies, but it can … In order to make a database for your organization, you will need to know how to organize, use and manage your small business information.A database made and tailored to your specific needs allows you to maximize the value of your business through data integration and access. According to tech writer Kevin Kelleher, many of the small companies he interviews still believe big data is only accessible for business “giants.”. Your company may be small, but by making use of correct data analytics, it’s future can certainly be big. Take a look at some of the largest businesses today, and you are likely to be blown away by the numbers they boast in terms of capitalization, revenue and profitability. Fortunately, there are still ways to protect your data that you as a business owner should start considering now: 1. How can small businesses use big data? However, there are many ways your small business can gather, analyze and make sense of the data you already have, as well as gain additional insights to help level the playing field. The Big Data concept was born out of the need to understand trends, preferences, and patterns in the huge database generated when people interact with different systems and each other. Business Intelligence for small business means having the right data at the right time for a fast and fruitful analysis. Cash Basis Accounting in Excel If you are using cash basis accounting (most small businesses do), start a new worksheet, and enter column headers for the date, transaction description, and a transaction number. But the concept of analyzing very large amounts of data and looking within it for patterns, trends, and insights is one that nearly any business, large or small, can use to help make better decisions. Not following best practices for data collection can have serious consequences. Cybersecurity software Each day security companies discover new threats to business and consumer data. In this tutorial, we’ll look at how small businesses can make use of big data to improve their performance. For example, if you have cash flow data from past years, you can include that data in a table and use this feature to create a new worksheet with a graph forecasting future trends in your cash flow volume. Small business owners can do all of their bookkeeping in Excel. Business data has existed for ages. Off-the-shelf software: Some companies have made it their sole focus to create software titles that correctly and efficiently measure core business data. They may try to manage with Excel or a mix of other methods, while avoiding Access. Use an Email Encryption and Security Solution. When properly utilized and analyzed, this data can give you valuable insights into your company. These often use cloud-based storage allowing team members to work on documents at the same time. As your business gets bigger, that can be difficult to achieve, but clear KPIs can help. Business Intelligence also gives you a one-stop shop for all your various data sources, like seen in the picture above. 7 Ways Data Analytics Can Boost Your Business Growth Analytics can be used to optimise every area of your business. Take a look at these 5 ways your small business can use customer data. Companies have struggled to show the direct impact of data-driven marketing to business metrics such as revenue and profitability. As you bring on more employees, you can even use “cascading KPIs”. For example, look for market reports, government statistics, and trade and industry association publications. Many small businesses use data capture tools to better understand and subsequently meet the demands of their customers. With data visualization, teams across departments can use dashboards and data graphics to understand data points related specifically to their operations, to improve decision making. AI has many applications and can power cybersecurity, customer relationship marketing (CRM), and customer service. With Big Data, business organizations can use analytics, and figure out the most valuable customers. It can help boost growth and enables smaller players to compete with much larger organizations. big data, a buzzword that’s become shorthand in the business world for ways to use voluminous information to gain insights into customers, employees, or products. Use BI for More Efficient Inventory Management. Unfortunately, many small businesses do not use Microsoft Access. Charlene Glidden is Vice President, Business Planning and Technology Strategy at Colonial Life. Basically, as a small business owner, you have two choices when it comes to managing your business finances: hire an accountant to do the bookkeeping for you or do it yourself (DIY) by purchasing an accounting software program that you can use for recording and reporting business transactions. For example, you may load historical financial and commission data into Quickbooks accounting software, while you use an inventory management service to track order fulfillment. What are the best AI tools for small business? They can use data to make smarter marketing decisions, improve product quality, and nurture more meaningful customer relationships. A good BI solution will enable you to use data to analyze your supply chain and ensure you have optimal inventory levels. The first thing to understand when designing a data-driven marketing strategy for a small business is that even though you’ll be using some of the same tools and techniques as a huge business, you don’t simply want to follow in the footsteps of those marketing behemoths. Smaller companies may feel they either can’t afford or don’t need to use data opportunities. In this contributed article, Sarah Kearns, Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, discusses 7 reasons to use big data when you have a small business. Big data has a lot of utility for small business owners. Many small business owners openly admit that they are not big data experts. Don’t be afraid to admit it, because you’re not alone. Your information management can be streamlined and your data organized for clear analysis and reporting. Historical analysis: Looking at past internal and external data, banks can plan for the future. BI can help them spot patterns, address issues going forward and set goals that improve upon historic metrics. WHEN TO USE IT FOR SMALL-BUSINESS ACCOUNTING: This feature is only relevant if you have historical data spanning multiple years. For example, many businesses use Office 365 for online versions of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. It covers everything from small businesses like medical billing companies to "big data" companies that create platforms bought by IBM or Google for millions of dollars. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is a great source for marketing data. Those are just two simple examples of data collection within a small business. Small businesses should focus on data collection as much, if not more, than bigger businesses. Access can help your company store information and manage large amounts of data. Carrying too much stock can be as damaging to your bottom line as having too little. Big data is all of the information you can glean about your customers and your business on a day to day basis. Yet they face the same challenges when it comes to analysing data as … Are you a small business still in the early stages of digital transformation? About the Author. Email encryption helps to ensure that your emails — and the vital business information they contain — will be read only by intended recipients. Customer data is an area of focus that examines consumer behavior and predictive analytics. The Core Elements of a Data-Driven Marketing Strategy. But small businesses can benefit from big data too. Essentially, data visualization opens up more access for entire organizations to utilize business intelligence. For example, if you have several salespeople, you could split that overall KPI of 20 new customers per month, so … Nearly 51% of small business owners believe that big-data analysis is a must, but only 45% perform data analyses, according to a report published by the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). Banks can also use performance data about products, features and services to create new offerings designed around current customer demand. By Gordon Tredgold, Founder and CEO, Leadership Principles @gordontredgold. Use BI to find ways to reengage and inspire existing customers. A business’s data may be small, but it can still be complicated. Improve the customer experience. The loss of critical business data can cripple a business and cause it irreparable operational harm. 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