Big Data Platforms-Emerging technologies such as big data and AI can be daunting for the small business owner, but there’s also significant pressure to stay ahead of the curve. Small businesses are always competing to keep costs and overheads low, as they’re less able to sustain themselves through the lean times. However, McKinsey research has shown that implementing big data strategies can significantly impact the bottom line. For example, a retailer could increase operating margins up to 60 percent.
Implementing big data and AI platforms doesn’t need to involve hiring teams of data scientists or analysts. At this point in 2019, small businesses have a wealth of out-of-the-box solutions available to them, covering a variety of use cases.
Chatbots are helping to reduce operational costs by providing a “human” element to first-line customer services and general inquiries. Juniper Research estimates that chatbots will save businesses around $8bn by 2022. Bots can also help with lead generation and conversion, by providing a direct route from the company website to a sales representative for those who choose to engage with the bot online.
Now in 2019, many chatbots operate cross-channel, integrating seamlessly with Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, and more. Liveperson is one example, with a chatbot builder feature that makes it easy for anyone in the organization to build and optimize bots using industry-specific templates. Using Liveperson, a business can automate up to 70 percent of messaging conversations across various platforms.
Predictive analytics platforms have a broad range of applications in companies, including reducing employee turnover and decreasing risks such as cyberattacks. However, the implications for sales and marketing are particularly significant. By understanding which demographics are likely to buy a product, sales and marketing teams can make more efficient use of their budgets.
Endor is one company with a predictive analytics platform that’s as easy to use as a Google search.
The user only needs to type in their question, which could be something as straightforward as “who is most likely to buy x product?” Endor’s data science methodology relies on the “social physics” discipline, to deliver fast and accurate answers based on crowd wisdom. It was developed by a team from MIT, who pioneered the concept of social physics in an academic setting and are now applying it in across a range of industry sectors including retail and finance.