Turning big data into business insights

In today’s new technology landscape, what separates proactive adopters from other small and midsize businesses (SMBs)? It all comes down to how they’ve approached cutting-edge technologies, such as security, mobility, big data, and cloud. We’re covering all four of these trends in our proactive adopter series, including the different motivators and objectives that are driving businesses to adopt.

Security, for example, is vital to protecting data and preventing harmful breaches; mobility allows employees to access data and work from anywhere, on any device, at any time; and new cloud-based solutions and strategies assist in storing, managing, and backing up any and all collected data. Clearly, data—and specifically big data—is interconnected with all three of these factors.

But what exactly is big data? How can you collect and harness it, and how can using the proper tools to analyze this data impact your business?

It’s easy to think that if you knew just one vital piece of information or followed a particular path, then you could better compete in the market, acquire and retain more customers, and increase productivity, essentially becoming a leader in technology trends in your industry. This makes sense in theory, but simply having the right information when you need it is more difficult than it sounds. Understanding what that data means and how to use it can be even trickier.

Mining big data isn’t a luxury reserved for large businesses with the budgets and teams to match its scale. Today, small and midsize businesses can also benefit from big data and data-driven decision-making, and they can do so without having deep pockets.

Big data analysis allows a data-driven business to capture and use information to make decisions, enabling it to grow and accomplish the goals of any forward-thinking business. A proactive adopter, like most organizations, desires greater IT alignment with their business and better outcomes leading to improved profitability and lower IT costs, and big data analysis can help achieve these goals.

A recent Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) survey, fielded by Coleman Parkes, asked 1,500 SMB decision-makers around the world about how they’re implementing big data in their organizations. The respondents were broken down into three adopter profiles: basic, moderate, and proactive. While each profile has its own motivators and objectives when it comes to adoption, the top three motivators driving proactive adopters to implement big data initiatives include:

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