How Big Data Can Help Your Small Business - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Knowing your numbers as a business owner has always been important. But nowadays, collecting and understanding data about your business and clients is just as valuable as being in the black. That is why at this year’s Entrepreneurs Summit, experts will be sharing the ins and outs of data mining.

According to the Harvard Business Review, less than half of a company’s data is used to make organizational decisions. Appalling, right? Whether you have a chief data officer or not, investing in and learning more about your business by investing in data can make the difference between whether or not you stay ahead in your industry or sink. In other words, data is king.

We spoke with Sherrell Dorsey, founder of daily tech newsletter ThePLUG and BLKTECHCLT, about big data for small businesses and entrepreneurs and she shared three benefits in learning about and investing in data, and more.

When it comes to collecting data, start by creating a strategy for how you will collect information and map out goals for what you plan to do with it to advance your company.

“People should really know that data is about historic information. I think that we get into this conversation about predictive analytics but you’re really measuring how things performed in the past tense. And, from that you can analyze goals,” says Dorsey.

Ask yourself, what do we want to achieve? What information do we need to collect? Will this information help me solve problems?

It is important to ask yourself those questions so that you can create a thesis for your business outcomes. From there, you should set standards for your company’s integrity before you begin collecting information.

“Have a privacy policy. Let your customers and audience know that you stand by the integrity and the ethics of protecting their privacy. It always behooves the company that is collecting data to be upfront and honest with their customers so customers know what kind of information they are giving to that company.”

The more data that you have and the more you use it to analyze your business you can see exponential growth based on what you learn and implement into your targeted marketing.

“The key is knowing what works for you. There’s this whole mystique around data and the mystique has made it unapproachable to my small business owners. And, I think that we have to remove the elitisms from it. And with that, the way that The Plug uses data or with any of the conversations that we have or as I run BLKTECHCLT, we use data in the sense of very practical analytics,” says Dorsey.

Here are three ways that your business can benefit from data:

  1. Smarten up. It makes you smarter about your business and know the DNA of your business.
  2. Deliver tailored content. You’re able to deliver much more tailored products and services to your customers.
  3. Eliminate inefficiencies. The data does help you to look at where you’re wasting time and potentially resources as well.

If you want to learn more about how your business can benefit from the power of data, join us in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the Entrepreneurs Summit in June.

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Lydia Blanco

Lydia T. Blanco is a proud Afro-Latinx digital-first multimedia journalist with a strong passion for truthful storytelling, photography and creative content strategy.


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