12 May 2014

Why SMEs need to put their feet on the starting line to ensure they can capture value from data…ready, steady, go!

Andy Neely - Interviewed on SMEs and Big Data
In this interconnected World all sorts of devices are creating data all of the time from when you use your mobile or when you log into the Web, or when you use cards to shop in stores or online. The systems for capturing and storing data are becoming better and faster.

With all of this innovation there is a risk for SMEs that they won’t be able to compete in this so called Big Data World. They will need to build their capabilities to understand and analyse all forms of data to make sense of it. They will need to put in place the technology to capture the data and ensure they have the right professional advice to use it, and draw up the appropriate legal agreements.   It could be that only large firms can afford these costs, but another option for the SME is to think about who they can partner with, and how can they build or share the infrastructure to capture and analyse data rather than do it all themselves. 

SMEs need to think through their data strategy clearly to ensure that they are not beaten to the starting-line by new start-ups who may launch using publicly created data sources such as Facebook or Twitter. 

However,  the issue is not one of “Big” but that of “Data”, the value lies in how SMEs us their data more generally. SMES need to do three things. They need to explore their options with data and ask what does data allow them to do that they can’t currently do? They will need to think about how the data might allow them to monitor the use of their products, or better manage their supply chains. They will need to think through who their partners are, alliances will become central to their success.  Thirdly, they will need to ask where the value in the data sits for them and how they capture that value as an SME rather than just let it leak out to other organisations in the market.  Fast footwork is going to be useful for them when the whistle blows on that starting line.

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