Five key steps on how an SME can maximise the value of its existing data by extracting actionable information
Big data for SMEs is all about joining up various sources of data and using it to improve productivity and profitability.
With accessibility via the cloud, big data enables smaller business to take advantage of the tools that were previously only available to larger corporates.
Big data is basically a repository of information drawn from different silos and joined up to make it work more effectively for the business.
Here are five key steps on how SMEs can maximise their existing data to make it big.
The first question is what does the organisation want to achieve from their data? Customer satisfaction is usually a primary aim for SMEs, since a happy customer means repeat business. Customer satisfaction goes hand in hand with an overall aim of using data to improve business productivity and therefore profitability.
>See also: Top 8 trends for big data in 2016
A business is doing well if it can deal with a customer’s request quickly and efficiently, compared to asking the customers to repeat their question or query each time they make contact.
Most SMEs will have data stored in a range of isolated areas. The key is to work with what they have and then join it up.
Customer contact information is the best place to start. Most organisations will have a CRM (customer relationship management) system but it can be any database that holds customer details.
In addition, a business will have additional stores of information that encompass the many different ways they communicate with their customers.
Start with the CRM system or a basic database of contacts, and then move onto other mediums. The telephony system tracks all calls made and received – there may be a separate repository of call recordings. Also look at your accountancy system, email records and social media accounts for further data on communications.
The phone is still the medium of choice for many people, so call analytics need to be captured and weaved into an organisation’s customer service strategy.
The next step is to join up and consolidate all the sources of information within a single tool.
The SME may select its CRM system to display the combined data.