Tackling big data problems for small businesses: unlocking the power of unstructured data

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Businesses in Asia Pacific are inundated with huge volumes of highly varied data, including unstructured data, which holds a plethora of precious business and customer insights, such as audience’s demographic info, behavioural, trends, personal attributes, and business-to-customer interactions.

Sadly, this data often tends to sit in storage and is only processed when the need to use it arises, while legacy data management solutions are not equipped to handle today’s data volumes, file types, applications and workloads, nor can it provide the visibility, control and scalability for effective data management.

Especially for SMEs, leveraging the power of unstructured data to extract unique information and trends can help bring real business value to them, and turn information into intelligence. Many organizations face challenges in turning data into valuable insights.

To overcome this, SMEs need to tap flexible cloud-native file data platform solutions that allow them to integrate their workflows and applications easily, in a cost-effective and scalable way. Here are four tips on how SMEs can do so.

Ensure the support of the entire organisation

Taking the cloud journey to manage unstructured data cannot be a siloed operation; there must be support from the entire organisation, from top management to employees. Hence, they must be well-informed of the purpose, intention, processes and benefits of tapping on the cloud to maximise data insights. Only by educating and rallying the support of all in the organisation, can SMEs overcome the reluctance to progress beyond tried-and-tested workflows, and take a step towards innovatively tapping on the power of data for more insightful business opportunities.

Focus on the long-term benefits

While some SMEs may be hesitant to migrate to the cloud to manage their data, due to initial investment and other concerns, the benefits in the long term should be the key focus. Tapping on the cloud to elicit the power of data means that SMEs are able to access and manage their critical business data from anywhere, at any time. This enhances their agility, providing them with much better productivity and efficiency, as well as improved adaptability in today’s very fluid world situation. What may seem like a hefty cost now could bring about increased return on investment in the long term.

Take small steps before upscaling

Every organisation is different, and this is something that SMEs must keep in mind if they want to tap on the cloud to better leverage data. A one-size-fits-all solution should be avoided at all costs. Instead, approach cloud migration the right way from the start. Take small steps and migrate only one part of the business data to the cloud-first. This will give SMEs time to assess the capabilities of the selected cloud solution and make informed choices on whether it meets the organisation’s needs. When this initial cloud migration has achieved results and brought real business value, only then should SMEs decide to upscale the cloud operation further.

Pay attention to security

Security tends to be one area that many businesses tend to overlook. However, as data volumes grow and with more people working and learning from home, security and compliance teams are facing increasingly complex challenges. Hence, even with the migration to the cloud, security should not be neglected. Leveraging on the power of data through the cloud should be a collaborative effort and SMEs should partner with trusted cloud-native file data storage providers to address potential compliance, governance or other security issues.

Leveraging the cloud to unleash the power of unstructured data may seem daunting at first. However, by taking small steps and keeping the long-term benefits in mind, the value of unstructured data can truly be unlocked, allowing businesses to truly embrace a digital future and transform in a smart manner.