What’s the Big Deal with Big Data? 3 Ways Small Businesses Can Capitalize

by Inc.

Have a firm, definitive definition of what exactly big data is? If so, do you think others will agree with you? (Something to try out in the comments section.)

According to the results of a Harris Interactive survey, answers to that question from small business owners are all over the map: 28% believe it means “massive growth of transaction data.” Nearly a fourth say it refers to new technologies for managing massive data. Another fifth define it as the “requirement to store and archive data for regulatory compliance.”

As Minda Zetlin writes in this post for Inc., “Whatever it is, they know they want it! About 76% describe big data as an ‘opportunity’ for their companies.”

According to Zetlin, Steve Lucas, executive vice president at SAP, which sponsored the survey “defines big data as a convergence of data from many different sources that provides businesses with much more information than they’ve traditionally had.” How can small businesses take advantage of this “avalanche of data” without being swept away? By having a focus, using the right software tools to manage and oversee data, and remembering that, “It’s not what big data is, it’s what you do with it,” Lucas advises.