An agency of the Ministry of Industry, Investment & Commerce, the JBDC is Jamaica’s premier business development organisation working collaboratively with government, private sector, as well as, academic, research and international communities.



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As small businesses operate in this highly competitive environment, your every move must be strategic.  It’s really a no-brainer therefore that research is paramount in business.  Business research involves gathering data and using it to make business predictions, plans or decisions. In this edition of Entrepreneur Weekly, we will be exploring how ‘Big Data’ can work for business.


Investopedia says, “Big data refers to the large, diverse sets of information that grow at ever-increasing rates. It encompasses the volume of information, the velocity or speed at which it is created and collected, and the variety or scope of the data points being covered (known as the “three Vs” of big data).” Simply, big data is a large volume of data that when analysed reveals trends, patterns, and associations.

Have you ever searched for an item in Google and this item pops up in your Instagram sponsored feed?  This is as a result of big data.  Large companies like Meta (Facebook), Target and Netflix analyse big data to generate unique products and services.


Netflix started out in the early 2000s renting DVDs to customers. Medium says, Netflix developed a recommendation system powered by machine learning algorithms, “By analysing vast amounts of user data, including viewing habits, ratings, and preferences, they personalise content recommendations for each individual, increasing customer satisfaction and retention.

By leveraging their recommendation engine, Netflix significantly improved user engagement. Personalised content recommendations increased the likelihood of viewers discovering and enjoying new shows and movies, leading to longer subscription durations and reduced churn rates.”


Everyone uses data. From small firms to big firms, suppliers, and customers as well. Here are some business activities big data can help address:

  • Informed Decision-Making: Big data analytics empowers entrepreneurs to make data-driven decisions. By tapping into the wealth of information available, you can gain insights into customer preferences, market trends, and operational efficiency, enabling more informed and strategic decision-making.
  • Customer Experience: Understanding your customers is paramount to business success. Big data allows entrepreneurs to analyse customer behaviours, preferences, and feedback, leading to the creation of personalised and targeted marketing strategies. This, in turn, enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Product development: Before creating a product, one has to know if the product is solving a problem. Big data allows you to collect data that drives pain relievers. This approach ensures all products developed are suited to solving a market need with greater accuracy compared to traditional approaches.


Let technology work for you! MSMEs have limited resources, so it’s essential to start small. Begin by identifying specific business challenges or opportunities that can benefit from data driven insights. As your understanding and capabilities grow, gradually scale up your big data initiatives.  Stay ahead of the curve, adapt to change, and let big data be the catalyst for your business success.

Do you think big data is too big for you? Let JBDC Help You!  The Business Advisory Services Unit at the JBDC is ready to help you get the information you need to boost your business through services including Business Information Dissemination and Opportunity Assessment. When a client comes into the JBDC, the Business Advisory Services Unit (BAS) acts as a resource centre for entrepreneurs by answering queries, providing information such as details about the business environment and other institutions within the ecosystem that business owners need to know about. The team will assist with information that allows clients to build and grow their businesses. Additionally, we conduct an opportunity assessment which essentially helps clients to be aware of what is important to consider and know as they pursue business ownership. Visit to book your consultation now.


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