Data analysis and analytics has been increasingly playing a more important role in business process recommendation and decision making. Given the growing demands of data analytics, there should be more business opportunities of data related analyses and software developments from the market. However, this hypothesis does not translate into reality in a straightforward manner. One reason is that the business owners or senior executives may overlook the importance of business data analysis. Another reason is data privacy/security - a business is reluctant to disclose its data to outside firms. Do you have recommendations on how to strategically approach the small- to median-size companies that have data analysis needs for example in the healthcare, retail, or financial industries?
Thanks to all for your insights from this supportive community. Most of the responses have been in the areas of big data, business analytics, and business intelligence. As Michael, Jason and Tim pointed out, the targeted markets should be more on the large enterprises: large enterprises have enough resources to sponsor the analytical projects, the discovered insights are more worthwhile in improving their business operations, and they are more robust in digesting project up-and-downs on the road. Vijay proposed two ways to approach an analytical business, the second of which is “do backend stuff for special project teams (e.g., internal consulting, data interface for external consultants)”. Did you mean to be a subcontractor of a project team by contributing to the data analytics part of it? I look forward to listening to Gaurav and Mitchell’s successful experiences in the healthcare industry using data analytics.
I like to discuss a little more on data analysis and data analytics. As the industrial trends stand and move forward, the notion of data analytics has been dedicated to the technologies around big data, business intelligence, data mining, machine learning, hadoop/mapreduce, NoSQL, AWS, etc. Although in general “data analytics” is larger-scaled and/or more distributed part of “data analysis”, I would use “data analysis” to mean more traditional data processing, say the data samples of disease symptoms versus nutrition intakes, a clinical study on the efficacy of a drug in certain populations, predicting the output of a solar panel given the time series data of outputs over several years, the customers’ shopping behaviors analysis for a median-size retailer, and so on. These data analyses are generally in smaller scale, say in less than gigabyte scale. A small data analytical business organization specializes in and more replies on commercially available software (like SAS, MatLab) and existing open source software (like Weka), other than substantial development and integration services. I think that such data analytical businesses may target at the data analysis projects in the market.