The idea that massive amounts of industry and customer data were mainly only utilized by large corporations and organizations may be a thing of the past, according to a new study commissioned by Intuit that found “big data” will be a vital component of small businesses over the next 10 years.

The latest findings in Intuit’s 2020 research series, prepared by Emergent Research, found that over the next 10 years small business owners and consumers will have access to, and the ability to refine, massive volumes of information, and data will be a vital component of all business. As people will be more connected than ever through a global grid and mobile devices, data will shape purchasing and other major decisions for individuals and businesses of all sizes.

Access to data will enable small businesses to create new ways to operate more efficiently, find new customers, and improve their bottom line ultimately fueling economic growth.

“Data is quickly becoming the vital raw material on par with capital and labor," said Intuit president and chief executive Brad Smith. "It’s about the cloud and all of the devices that have capabilities to enable data to create a whole new lifestyle for people and businesses of all sizes around the world. Data levels the playing field for small businesses and brings back days of the local merchant knowing all about you, your purchase preferences, and promotions tailored to your specific needs, using data from our smart phones and mobile devices.”

The findings in the report, entitled “The New Data Democracy: How Big Data Will Revolutionize the Lives of Small Business and Consumers,” will also help fuel Intuit’s product and overall corporate direction, according to Smith, as the company plans to utilize “big data” to better serve its customer base.

“Having access to consumer data offers new opportunities for Intuit to improve the lives of so many individuals that were not possible 10 years ago,” said Smith. “We can now take the power of data and apply Intuit’s core capabilities, which are customer-driven innovation and design for delight. For example, we now pay 1 in 12 Americans with our payroll service and 25 percent of the economy is moved by our products. We take data stewardship as the number one priority in our company. We have refreshed our company strategy through product experiences in a mobile-first world and are using data to create better products that require little to no effort on part of the user.”

In addition, Smith cited a few examples of Intuit's own products they are utilizing “big data” to help better serve small business and individual consumers:

  • Intuit Loan Finder is a new service designed to help small businesses obtain capital faster and at lower rates from lenders. The service also helps lenders make more informed risk decisions, increasing the potential for small businesses to obtain a loan quickly.
  • Mint customers are using the service to interpret their financial data to help them save money on everything from lower credit card fees to better mortgage rates. Through its “Ways to Save” engine, Mint has identified more than $2.4 billion in savings for its 10 million users.
  • Mobile Purchase Rewards allow consumers to receive customized discounts based on personal buying habits, which they can redeem with the swipe of a debit card, no coupons required.  The savings are then automatically deposited back in users' checking accounts at the end of each month.

To view the full study visit: http://network.intuit.com/2012/12/13/the-coming-era-of-big-data-for-the-little-guy/