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Big Data for Small Business

Posted on: January 17th, 2023

Almost all companies seeking to sell have financial data, but operations data is often harder to come by in a small or medium-sized business (SMB).  Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning make big promises to collect and visualize data, but is big data for small business a dream or reality?

MLA provides finance, strategy, and solutions to small and medium-sized businesses.  We have data management and analytics expertise and understand where that fits for an SMB.  Contact us to learn more.

Big Data More Theory Than Reality for SMBs

Businesses that scale are relying more and more on big data, AI and Machine Learning.  These scalable data systems require large, standardized datasets to identify patterns.  This need for data and the expertise to use it often places AI outside the reach of SMBs.

Financial transactions must be recorded, and those records can be used to tell the story of a businesses to suitors.  But operations data in an SMB is often informal and embedded in the experience and culture of the leadership and workforce.  This means, to tell the best story, a sometimes costly and time-consuming process is required to extract that knowledge.

“Data is a mirror for your business,” says Kyle Roth, MLA Strategic Principal.  “We are not inventing something that does not exist.”  Every business already has products, processes, employees, and customers, all of which are data resources already in place.  Not all data requires a process to be built.  It may be a derivative of what you do now.

Big Data for Small Business

Big data operations that use AI will have little value in SMBs because there is often little or no existing operations data to feed into these systems.  As a result, AI and machine learning represent value at scale for large businesses but big data for small business reqires a different approach.

Successful M&As often result because the seller can demonstrate to the buyer a specific history of profitability that the buyer can expand and scale.  AI and Machine Learning are not necessary to do this well.

Telling a compelling story and backing that up with clear financial and operations data is key.  The buyer is looking for the critical component you will contribute to their growing enterprise.   MLA can help present your business in the best possible way.