The Small Business Administration is trying to figure out where big data meets small business.
While large businesses have been using large volumes of data to make better business decisions, "with greater access and availability of cost-effective technology, small businesses are doing the same," according to a recent solicitation for research.
For instance, small businesses and retailers can use online transaction history, analyzed in aggregate, to make decisions about sales and marketing programs, better understand customer behavior and predict the number of staffers they'll need, according to SBA.
But in general, "the effect of big data on small businesses is relatively unknown," the solicitation says -- and it's unclear how feasible it is for small businesses to collect, analyze and utilize data given possible limitations in technological and analytical resources.
SBA is specifically looking for research on small business' ability to use data analytics, especially in cases where “where small firms are mining their own data for creative uses” -- aside from using data sets collected by tech giants such as Google and Facebook.