If you are a business owner, you have probably heard the phrase “big data” before. 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. Big data is defined as a large amount of data that is difficult to analyze using common database management tools. It has been seen as an opportunity for big businesses for many years, but is now being seen as an opportunity for small businesses as well. This is according to a new 10-year forecast, which predicts the arrival of a “data democracy”, which is expected to empower small business owners and consumers to access a wealth of new information and make smarter, more informed decisions for their company.

There are a number of important trends that are predicted to emerge as big data continues to grow and proliferate. According to a forecast prepared by Emergent Research, a research and consulting firm focused on the small business sector, these trends will have a significant impact on small businesses and consumers. Experts anticipate that this new “data democracy” will dawn as data becomes a resource on an even footing with capital and labor.

Experts say that since people are and will be connected through a global grid and mobile devices, data will shape decisions both large and small, inform purchasing decisions, and become the glue binding both communities and relationships. Big data is expected to relocate from Wall Street to “Main Street”, with small businesses having access to create new ways to operate more efficiently, find new customers, improve their bottom-line, and drive economic growth.

Steve King, who is a partner at Emergent Research, states that the research is showing just how consumers and small businesses will be able to benefit from the growth of big data. He states, “We are at the onset of a data revolution that will provide new and meaningful ways for data-empowered consumers and small businesses to connect and engage with their communities, make decisions, and simplify their lives.”


Smith, Ned “Big Data Moves to Small Businesses” 12/14/12

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