White paper

Making Sense of Big Data at Small Businesses

There is no longer a threshold to enter the world of data discovery. Data is everywhere, and SMBs not acting on it are missing out on insight that could steer their businesses in entirely new directions. In fact, given their flexibility and ease of deployment, analytics initiatives in SMBs are arguably the most powerful.

This whitepaper will explore what big data means for small and medium companies—what that data looks like, how to access it, and how teams of any size and skill level can be transformed into data rock stars.

No doubt, your company has a lot of data. Today, companies of tens or hundreds of employees can generate massive amounts of data— but you may not want to hire a team of data scientists to analyze it. You may have invested in a data warehouse, but, more likely, this massive data takes less obvious forms: web analytics, point-of-sale data, email and direct mail campaigns, employee performance, supplier history, customer demographics, and much more.

If you’re like most small and medium businesses, you’re struggling to make sense of these data points, and to derive actionable insight from what’s quickly becoming an overwhelming mass of structured and unstructured data.

This whitepaper provides a guide for converting data into the insight you need, without investing a small fortune in a team of specialized data scientists.

In this whitepaper, you’ll hear how businesses like yours are using state-of-the-art visualization tools and techniques to build a culture of data-driven decisionmaking. You’ll learn about the current state of data in small and medium businesses, 3 tips for spotting trends you can’t afford to miss, and 5 best practices for building great data dashboards for you and your team.

It’s time to put your data to work for you!

Winning with insight:

3 tips to spot trends you can’t afford to miss

From the one-person start-up to the medium-sized business with hundreds of employees, the “Small and Medium Business” bracket includes a number of vastly different organizations.

But one thing remains the same: your world is full of opportunities, risks and chances to make your mark. And the environment is anything but static. What separates you from your competition is often a matter of how quickly you can spot the opportunities.

Three tips stand out as ways you can close the gap between you and the insight you require.

1. Empower Yourself

You’ve got a hunch, but digging into the data to investigate the trends can feel next to impossible—or take forever.

Take control of the situation by using self-service, intuitive, robust data analysis tools that let you quickly analyze and visualize data. Point at the data you want to investigate. Drag and drop the information you want to see. Hunches are great, but knowing is better. But if you’re stuck relying on someone else to query your data for you, chances are your competitor will beat you to the punch.

2. Interact with Data

Once you start seeing the trends and outliers, you’ll want to dig deeper. This is going to raise more questions that become paramount to fully understanding the opportunity at hand. So ask the questions. And get answers immediately.

By using the right analytical application, you will be equipped to not only quickly see the information you’re investigating, you’ll be able to query it further. Drill deep into it until you’re satisfied that you understand the whole picture. Shift from a time series graph to a heat map to get a new perspective. Blend in related data to provide context that you’d otherwise lack. Do it all in minutes. And then, with insight in hand, you’ll be the one getting in the first swing in.

3. Collaborate with your team

Identifying an opportunity or outlier is the first step, but the idea will become more impactful when you and your colleagues push hard against it. By using an analytics application that lets you ask and answer questions in real-time, you’re able to quickly harness the power of a lot of smart people in a room to take an idea from good to great.

Equip yourself with the tools you need to do your own analysis, getting the answers you need along the way to fully understand the opportunity you’ve identified. Setting yourself apart relies on more than a good hunch.

"Without Tableau, we would have been stumbling in the dark. We had a lot of guesswork, a lot of hypothesis. But now we can really show if a hypothesis is right or wrong – in minutes."

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