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  • Apoorva Pachori

Big Data for Small Business

With all business forums and podcasts going gaga over big data, it is hard for small business owners to look the other way. And rightly so.


Big data equips businesses with actionable insights to streamline operations, optimize products, and improve customer targeting – some benefits are too good to miss out on!


Large corporations have used big data for years to power up their growth efforts. They have the resources to invest in tools and assemble teams to work with big data and turn it into actionable insights. Small businesses lack the resources to invest in tools or hire analysts and programmers to utilize big data.


But in this day and age, businesses, whether big or small, cannot sit on the fence when it comes to big data.


Small businesses have realized they must implement big data workflows in their operations if they want to establish a strong foothold in their industries.


If you are looking for the best ways to analyze and extract insights from your business data, you are at the right place.


Big Data for Small Business


What is Keeping Small Businesses From Making it Big With Big Data?



#1 Lack of Tools


Big corporations have funds to invest in software that can process large chunks of data. They can hire programmers to build an application dedicated to their big data workflows.

But small businesses are often stuck with everyday tools like Google Sheets and MS Excel.


These tools may get the job done but have their limitations when it comes to big data.


Microsoft Excel can process only 1,048,576 rows at a time, which hinders the efficiency of big data workflows. Google Sheets is limited to 10M cells, which is basically the same Excel row limit with only 10 columns of data.


Also, big data files are not limited to human-readable formats like CSV and XLSX. Instead, the files can have different formats like JSON, EVTX, PCAP, and more based on the data they carry. Importing these files into regular spreadsheet software can be a hassle, with the final result being prone to formatting errors, missing data, and more.



Additional read: Excel Max Rows? 1,048,576 Is The Limit



#2 Lack of Technical Know-how


Big data is voluminous, unstructured, and varied. To make sense of it, you need someone who can use code in Python and SQL and work with specialized tools.


Not all small business owners are well versed with programming and analytics tools. Hiring data analysts and programmers is not financially feasible. And you have a business to run, so while you may be capable of teaching yourself how to code, who has the time?



#3 Data Security


Such voluminous business data need safe storage. At the same time, owners must ensure that their teams can easily access the data.


Most small businesses prefer cloud storage services like Google and Microsoft. It provides safe and centralized data storage. But it makes it a hassle to download files, convert them (if the format is unsupported), and then import them into spreadsheet software.


This complicates the big data workflow and reduces its efficiency.


These limitations often push small business owners away from the idea of using big data. But the benefits of big data for a business are too good to miss out on. So, is there a solution to small business owners’ big data problems?


We will be lying if we say there isn’t one.



Gigasheet - The No-Code Solution for Big Data


No-code tools are a boon for small business owners. These applications do not require any coding to function, i.e., non-technical users can use them to generate the same results that an expert programmer would.


Now, bring no-code to big data analytics, and most of your problems will solve themselves! One such tool is Gigasheet, a web-based big data analytics tool tailored for small business data needs. If you can use a spreadsheet, then you will know how to use Gigasheet. The difference being that behind the scenes, Gigasheet is a powerful database that can handle any Big Data you throw at it.


Let us go over how Gigasheet makes working with big data easier



Importing Data


To begin with Gigasheet, you need to upload your big data file into the web application.


Gigasheet supports all major file formats like CSV, LOG, JSON, TSV, XLSX, and ZIP/GZIP.

Store your data in the cloud instead of local storage? No problem. You can upload files directly from Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive, or paste links to your file as well.


That is not all.


Gigasheet has over 100+ integrations to help analysts connect data sources AWS and ActiveCampaign to the web app.


Here is how you can open your files in Gigasheet. First, create your free account and log in. Then, click on the big yellow button which says ‘Add Data.’



How to import files in Gigasheet

Next, you can browse your chosen file, and Gigasheet will open it for you!



Gigasheet supports several file formats and allows you to import data from cloud storage


Filtering Data


Where Gigasheet really shines is once you have uploaded the file. You can play around with filters without writing complex nested SQL queries and wrestling around with the WHERE clause.


You can also combine Gigasheet’s filters to cover multiple inclusions and exclusions. Once you filter your data set, only the matching rows will be displayed.


To access the filter function, go to the right-hand side panel and select ‘Filter.’


Filter data in Gigasheet

Then, all you need to do is to select your column names and data values! You can create multi-value filters using the AND/OR conditions as well.

Create a filter in Gigasheet

If your filters are too complex, you can even save them and then reload them onto your next data set. No need to specify multiple data fields all over again.


Read more about Gigasheet’s saved filters here.



#3 Grouping data


Groups allow you to view rows grouped by common data values. Gigasheet also supports nested groups, where you can group rows by multiple fields.


To create a group, click the 'Group’ icon at the top and select the columns to the group.

The group by feature helps you create groups of rows in Gigasheet

The example below shows how you can group rows by multiple columns. In this case, you can see the data is grouped by the column manufacturer first, then by region, and then by the year. Now, you can quickly see the rows categorized by the values in the column manufacturer.

Group by a single column

To further view the grouped rows, click on the right-pointing arrows to expand the group. Then, you will be able to view data about cars by a specific manufacturer in a specific region for a given year.


Group by multiple columns


Learn more about the power of groups here.


#4 Simple Pivot Tables


As a small business owner, you juggle many hats, from business operator to HR. Looking at data is a necessity, but you many not always remember how to create pivot tables in Excel or Sheets in order to speed up the process. Yes, you have done it in the past, but that setup step is tricky to remember. Well no more!


In Gigasheet, the whole thing is basically a pivot table. Filters and Groups are done via easy to use prompts. The only part of a pivot table missing is grouping across columns. This is done in Gigasheet with the flip of a switch. Toggle the "Pivot Mode" switch and the "Column Labels" box appears which allows for grouping across the top of the screen, which is very handy for something like year or month.



Enabling pivot mode in Gigasheet


Learn more about Pivot Tables in Gigasheet