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What to Look for in Big Data Analytics Tools
Analytics is far more than just a buzz-word these days. Analytics tools are essential for business owners who want to be able to take advantage the data that is being created, in real time, as people use your website and interact with your brand online.
Each ‘hit’ that is generated on your website creates data. Every mention, every retweet and every like on a photo on Instagram is an important piece of information that can be used to guide your marketing strategy and help you to understand your customers. The question is: how can you turn that information into something clear, concise and actionable?
##Modelling for Any Business There are many big data analytics tools out there aimed at different segments of the marketplace. Some are easy to use and understand, while some are much more complex and offer highly sophisticated analytical modelling that can be used to offer not just insight into what is happening now but also CART (Classification and Regression Trees), past trend information and neural networks.
The depth of modelling that you require will depend, in part, on the size of your business and how much data you need to work with. Smaller companies, with a customer base that is in the tens or hundreds rather than the thousands, will generate smaller sample sizes of data and therefore will benefit less from sophisticated tools but will still get a lot out of seeing past trends.
Companies that have online stores and offline stores may find that having the option to integrate purchase data from multiple systems would be highly beneficial. Those who have existing business intelligence tools that rely on a specific technology such as SQL will likely want to be able to continue using those tools, and they will benefit from inter-operability between their current and future tools.
##Cloud-Based Tools Cloud-based tools offer a lot of benefits and are the logical choice for companies that are still growing. These tools are affordable, highly scalable, powerful and do not require you to have an in-house IT team to maintain them. Outsourcing your business analytics to a company that offers cloud-based tools will give you the freedom to change and tweak your analytics procedures as you grow and as you come to understand your company’s needs. Why lock yourself in to an in-house platform when the cloud offers so much freedom?