There is an interesting post on Small Business Newz that discusses the much vaunted “Big Data Train.” The article makes sense up to a point, however, there are times when I wonder if small businesses are over analyzing their online presence. Being online does open up the prospect of measuring everything that happens. Whether it’s email views and responses, visitor activity on your site, or how readers respond to social media activity – there is a way of collecting data and measuring that data against a range of standards. Bit is it too much?
Small businesses have succeeded for centuries on very basic data – if they bothered to measure it at all. There is a real danger now that business owners are becoming slaves to this data, spending more time collating and analyzing than they do in actually running their business – then complain that their business is going down hill. Sometimes, the key is analyzing your analytics – do you really need all that data?
To succeed online, you need to know where to draw the line. You need to be able to filter out non essential data and to concentrate on the data that is really important. For many online small businesses, this is easy. Search rankings, traffic flow, and visitor activity. If you rank number one, receive 500 visitors each day with a 5% conversion – that is easy to analyze, and as you make improvements to your business activities, you can easily measure their effects. For most small businesses, the big data train and cloud computing all sound good – but are they actually good for your business? You know your business, don’t become snowed under by too much useless data.