Publicly available services such as Facebook are exposing SMBs to Big Data, according to Software AG.
APJ sales director, Sean Stephens, said Facebook has a significant repository of demographic behaviour and sentiment that anyone can run analytics on simply by signing up for a free account.
"Access to that information is free and allows SMBs to start harnessing customer sentiment and market trends with no investment," he said.
For example, if a pet shop owner was considering breeding dachshunds, they could use Facebook to see if there is any interest in their area and shops where dachshund puppies can be sold.
"A pet shop owner could log on to Facebook and type in their post code and the word dachshund to instantly get visibility into how many people have commented on or liked dachshund images in the last six months," Stephens said.
Beyond that, Stephens said the search field could be expanded to include words such as "sausage dogs" to get further insights into how many people in the vicinity of a post code who may be interested in dachshunds.
Big Data for all
Stephens admits that Big Data has so far remained in the hands of large enterprises, as they are the ones who have the ability to contribute to and hold repositories of Big Data.
"Historically, it has been large enterprises because they have been the custodians of the intellectual property found in Big Data," he said.
However, what Stephens is seeing today is a change in where those Big Data streams are being fed from.
In particularly, technologies in the mobile and social space are highlighted as the two major catalysts to the growth of Big Data over the last five years.
"Those channels are now being fed by consumers, SMBs, and also by large enterprises, so the change we have seen over the last five years is exposing organisations of all sizes to Big Data," Stephens said.
Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.