You may have heard the phrase ‘big data’ on your colleagues lips, read it fleetingly in a document or article, and well, ignored it for now. But, this will soon come to an end, as soon big data will become a banal phrase, replacing our use of the more familiar and solitary data.

It is estimated that more data has been produced in the last two years than in the entire history of the human race. This isn’t even the most shocking statistic. Try the fact that this planet of people performs approximately  40,0000 searches on Google alone per second.  So, you might ask, where does leave me? (Other than completely baffled.)

It might appear then that big data is something omnipresent, something quite frankly, unfathomable which we should just leave drifting above us in the Cloud. But in actual fact, it need not be so uncontrollable , colossal, or painstakingly tedious. Ever been told, to get your head out of the clouds? Well, now, in 2017, it’s time to put your head back in the Cloud, and start to take it all in.

Here are our top 3 tips for beginners big data management and storage for SMEs:

Stay Humble:

Big Data doesn’t mean you need to collect everything and anything that comes into contact with your business, nor that you should start spending millions altering your systems to collect more and more data, (that will come naturally.) Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Even if your business is expanding rapidly, remember data is only useful if its usable. Put into system a data-management document or proposal of all the achievable levels of data collection, data accessibility and big data goals you’d like for the next five years.   

Your proposal should at minimum outline:

  1. What categories of data you will need
  2. Why you need it ( i.e what profit, conversions, expansion or advancement it will bring)
  3. How you will acquire it (and at what cost)  
  4. How you will store it (and at what cost)
  5. How will you delegate its management across your team
  6. The time it will take to process and maintain these data systems.

Look at Preexisting Methods and Data:

Before you go knee deep in new data, have a look at what you already have, or if you don’t know how to, go back and install a system which can refine and extract your historic data from systems that you might not know even collected it. Basic systems such as Google Analytics are a good starting point for website traffic, traffic sources and times of traffic and can provide great building blocks for long term data trends. Use can then follow- up from this to make web- development changes which will capitalise on this data.

Start Building a Database and Outreaching:

Now that you’ve made a headway in both deciding what data you want to advance your business strategies, and you’ve gotten everything out of the data you have already harvested, it’s time to look outward into new data management systems and high-tech databases.  This requires a strategy, which will need to be tailor made to your services.  Whether you’re a scientific lab based on research that will benefit massively from the electronic lab notebook by IDBS, or a  small retail business, finding the best software for you is crucial. Storing, receiving and securing data are something you will struggle to juggle without the right resource. The IDBS notebook keeps everything moving at the rapid pace that is required for big data, keeping users informed by pushing content in real time to configurable dashboards.