As part of Small Business Week, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has released a comprehensive report outlining the digital landscape’s disruption of Canadian business.
The report, which identifies six major trends facing small businesses in 2017 as they move towards future-proof operations, goes into detail about one particularly cumbersome aspect of the digital world: The rise of big data and the data economy.
Big Data is Big Business
In February, Gartner predicted that approximately 8.4 billion devices would be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) by the end of the year—a 31% increase from 2016. Using data from IHS Markit, the BDC report, on the other hand, makes it clear these numbers are set to explode, reaching 75 billion connected devices by 2025.
Are Canadian businesses leveraging this information to create growth, or are they letting this “oil of the digital era” (as The Economist put it) slip through the cracks?
Learning What Customers Want
With billions of devices generating data, businesses are tasked with the onerous job of sifting through the noise to retrieve valuable insights. Thankfully, data analysis is getting simpler—and the rewards for doing so include making customers happier, businesses more competitive, and operations more efficient.
To unlock the potential of the data economy, businesses need only make a few adjustments to their existing operation:
- Use data tools
- Maintain a customer relationship management (CRM) system
- Offer personalization
By implementing a CRM system, businesses can simplify—and personalize—data analysis, which can then be used to provide a stronger relationship with new and existing customers. Data tools—including email surveys, Google Analytics, and even software that monitors social media channels—can provide an edge for enterprises wanting to do better business, which is quickly becoming a game of personalizing products and offerings for customers.
To learn more about the changing landscape of Canadian business, BDC’s full report is available here (registration required).