Small businesses and the challenge of dealing with data

How blockchain may be the answer to small businesses’ data woes.

The way consumers behave are changing; technology allows access to more and better options, faster flow of information, and more efficient services. The result? Consumers with a penchant for instant gratification, and whose idea of engaging with business and getting information is vastly different from ten years ago. As of April 2018, the global digital population is at 4 billion people – that’s over 50 per cent of the world’s actual population navigating online and leaving digital footprints. These digital footprints are captured and get added into all other digital information collectively called data. Why is this important? Because data is to the information age what oil was to the industrial revolution. There are so many things that can be done with the data collected that businesses have begun to realise how important data analysis is in making informed decisions that drive business growth, improve efficiency, increase profits, and achieve organisational goals.

A conundrum

Analysing data is a basic rule of business. For decades, businesses have turned to historical data to plan their next moves. The same basic rule applies even with the ongoing digital transformation, the only difference is that businesses are now capable of analysing a larger amount of data within a faster time frame. An example: an airline do not only look at their historical sales data, but could also look at the season, events, human traffic, and demographics to predict trends and formulate business intelligence. Hence, peak season and off-season rates, targeted marketing campaigns, and airfare sales. But small business, unlike large enterprises with the tools and protocols, do not have access to sophisticated data analytics tools. Large enterprises are also unlikely to share their know-how or tools to small businesses. Also read: Blockchain is the future of data privacy This puts small businesses at a conundrum: they would benefit greatly from using their data to make informed decisions for rapid growth, but to be able to analyse their data, they need resources that they more likely do not have. “Building the capability to manage and process data requires huge time, money and human resource investment – something most SME business cannot afford because their biggest concern is their bottom line.” said Benny Low, Co-founder of DATAVLT. It becomes a stalemate for small enterprises as they sit on vast amounts of data but do not have access to the tools and technology needed to make sense of it. What small businesses need are solutions that allow them to harness the power of their data, at a cost that is accessible to them.

Blockchain to the rescue

There are two main justifications for why SMEs should embrace blockchain for data management. First, blockchain streamlines business processes. Small businesses can make use of providers that offer blockchain technology to get access to increased processing power and memory, allowing for the ability to execute resource-intensive tasks (like artificial intelligence) without worries about physical infrastructure limitations. Second, blockchain improves data privacy security using smart contracts to streamline business workflows inexpensively, effectively eliminating the need for middlemen and long, drawn-out processes. “With blockchain’s ability to achieve remote, autonomous consensus between users, it can help products and transactional services go to market quickly and inexpensively, and offload the traditionally high costs of data analytics, security, Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols, data storage and other overheads,” said Low.

Given the importance of data, small businesses should also rely on blockchain solutions to provide them with a more comprehensive protection and a better line of defence against cyber-attacks. DATAVLT provides small businesses with an agile, on-demand end-to-end data management platform for making meaningful sense of data backed by artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities.

Currently, DATAVLT is looking for partners who are interested to be a part of their Pilot Partners Program. For more info, reach out to datavlt.com/pilot or email – support@datavlt.com

Disclosure: This article is produced by e27 content marketing team, sponsored by DataVLT. Featured image credit: olegdudko / 123RF Stock Photo