Only 8% of people achieved their 2015 goals. Don’t be one of the businesses that doesn’t achieve your your goals for 2016. Read more to see how you can achieve them, using the data that you already have. Many think Big Data and big business go hand-in-hand. But you don’t have to be a Fortune 100 company to utilize the power of data. So, not matter what size your company, do not fear your data…embrace it! Right now, all the buzz is about Big Data. There are gigabytes and terabytes of information out there that businesses can use and analyze to discover trends, behaviors and patterns. But analyzing Big Data may not be desired, or even possible for small businesses. Small businesses likely don’t have millions to spend; so how can you get in the data game without overspending? You have to spend money to make money. But, it is better to spend a little and make a lot! You can achieve this by analyzing your own data. What small businesses can focus on is data (without the “big”). All businesses have plenty of data (sales history, finance records, customer information and more). Even these small amounts of data can be analyzed to make better, fact-based decisions for companies. So if you’re a small business owners, the first step is to identify the business challenges you would like to address. It could be pricing, customer service, operations, staffing or more. You have two options as far as mining the data goes: you can purchase software, or hire data consultants. For most small businesses, hiring a consulting team is usually more economical and more efficient. When purchasing software, you must consider the maintenance involved, which can prove difficult and costly, especially without an IT team. There are also frequent complaints about software security, and completion of tasks in a timely manner. Therefore, it is likely that you can get more bang for your buck to hire a consulting team that can take care of the mining, analysis, maintenance and even training. If you have an IT team, you may consider initially hiring consultants that can then train your team to carry on on their own. Discover business opportunities you may have by mining your own, existing data. You can read more about Big Data and small business in this Forbes article. You can also watch this video called “Unlocking the Power of Big Data for Small Business.”

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