Small Data is BIG!

In recent years, we’ve heard a lot about Big Data – the capability to crunch vast amounts of information to uncover valuable business insights and trends.  Yet, not all companies have “big” data to process and to store on data management services, especially small businesses that can’t afford to invest their limited resources in expensive and complex analytical tools to interpret any data that they might have.

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But that doesn’t mean that small businesses shouldn’t leverage data to enhance their operations. Data management services can help a small company find the necessary information on its customers, suppliers, inventories, and employees. The “small data” they produce during the course of operations can also give out reminders of the due dates of several projects and even record data regarding the company’s sales. With these benefits, one could consider small data to be significant since they’re both essential for their respective businesses, especially when the company’s scale is considered.

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IT consulting companies specializing in data management services for small businesses have the necessary skills, tools, expertise to uncover significant insights from small data. One of the primary programs they use to manage small data is Microsoft Access. It is a desktop database that can be used over a local network, allowing employees to share and access data in real-time.

Automating processes through Microsoft Access is possible when using Visual Basic for Applications or VBA, which is a programming language present in all Microsoft Office applications. Having to import data files from outside sources often results in files with different formats that aren’t consistently arranged. With VBA, small businesses can import and process different sets of data regardless of the data source or variances in file format.

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Automating processes like importing data into reports and even emailing them to other people in the right format without a worker’s intervention will save much time and prevent headaches among the workforce. An employee won’t even have to click anything once the automated system is set up, eliminating the need to remember to run the process or for any manual entry, which in turn ensures data integrity.

Such a degree of automation is not achievable if a company will only rely on the services of an average database user. Companies will have to use the skills of a VBA programmer to utilize the advanced functions to better manage their data. Small businesses can retain the expertise of IT management agencies that can expertly code the functions needed to automate tasks in Microsoft Access.

By doing so, small businesses can make more data-driven decisions, which will then lead to more efficient and competitive operations. Moreover, employees will finally be able to use their brains instead of their fingers when data handling becomes automated.

Small businesses might not have Big Data, but their data is vital, primarily since Small Data consists of specific attributes concerning the company itself as opposed to raw Big Data. Small businesses will benefit from clean and regularly updated data accomplished through custom programming using VBA. For more information on how Small Data is Big, see this infographic by Landau Consulting.

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About the Author

Umair Tariq
With a background commerce education, Umair is a PC enthusiast and a gamer and often enjoys discussing tech, politics and business-related products.