Big Data for Small Businesses: Data Strategies to Measure Your Business

Jack Cook, a final year Business Management with Economics BSc(Hons) student, took our optional Digital Marketing module. As part of students’ coursework for the module, they are required to write a blog, investigating the use of social media and the internet.

Jack’s recent blog post “Big Data for Small Businesses: Data Strategies to Measure Your Business” is an excellent example of the work that our students produce.


“You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

Deming and Drucker (2012, cited in McAfee & Brynjolfsson, 2012) explains why the recent explosion of digital data is so important. Simply put, because of big data, managers can measure, and hence know, radically more about their business, and directly translate that knowledge into improved decision making and performance. This forward thinking has caused business intelligence and big data analytics to become increasingly important in both the academic and the business communities over the past two decades (Chen at al, 2002).

Industry studies have highlighted this significant development. For example, based on a survey of over 4,000 IT professionals from 93 countries and 25 industries, the IBM Tech Trends Report (2011) discovered business analytics was one of the four major technology trends this decade. Chief Economist at Google, Hal Varian (2012, cited in Chen et al, 2012) commented on the emergence of data analysis:

So what’s getting ubiquitous and cheap? Data. And what is complementary to data? Analysis. So, my recommendation is to take lots of courses about how to manipulate and analyse data: databases, machine learning, econometrics, statistics, visualization, and so on.

The previous research has largely focused on traffic driving activities and customer acquisition techniques such as online partnerships, social media influencers and email marketing. However, acquiring visitors is only the start of the process rather than, as many marketers believe, the end (Waisberg & Kaushik, 2009). Therefore, the attention now turns to data strategies, which closely supports content and engagement decisions and conversion strategies (Chaffey & Bosomworth, 2013).

Source: Digital Marketing Jack CooK

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