Small business gets big data boost

Georgie Moore
(Australian Associated Press)

Small and medium businesses with Australia’s biggest bank can now use big data-style analytics – technology usually available to larger companies – to better understand their customers and hopefully boost their bottom line.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has launched a free business analytics platform for its SME (small and medium enterprise) customers that, in addition to monitoring the business’s sales and performance, breaks down customers’ buying patterns, ages and locations into de-identified data – all in in real time.

The platform accesses CBA’s 1.2 billion monthly transaction records to generate metrics that the bank says are typically only available to big businesses.

Eden Gardens, a cafe, restaurant and garden store in Macquarie Park, in Sydney’s North, was one of about 13,000 businesses involved in a trial of the platform – dubbed Daily IQ 2.0.

Marketing manager Michael Tate said the data showed him where his customers were coming from, which allowed the business to target advertising to those suburbs.

“I’m able to put catalogues in the hands of people who want to come into our business … where people want to and are able to come into our stores,” Mr Tate told AAP.

The data also showed that more than half of Eden Gardens’ customers were first-timers – something Mr Tate said would have been difficult to quantify previously.

“Looking through who these new customers are, I can see what we’re doing is working,” he said.

Daily IQ 2.0 has also helped other businesses decide where to open new stores and how to better manage cashflow, CBA’s executive general manager for business banking, Claire Roberts, said.

“SMEs are constantly being told about the benefits of big data but the reality is that many don’t know where to start or have the time or expertise to produce insights that actually impact their day-to-day decision making,” she said.

About 100,000 businesses can now access the platform, and the bank plans to roll it out to smaller and micro businesses in the future.

“”Many small business owners are not experts at data analysis but Daily IQ does that for them and gives them more time to focus on what they do best,” Ms Roberts said.


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