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Is There Hope for Small Firms, the Have-Nots in the World of Big Data?

Here’s a wishful vision of the future that’s even more radical than Amazon’s concept of delivery drones or Google’s robots: One day, small businesses will have access to affordable consumer data.

Don’t yawn. This is a life-and-death issue for small businesses. Anyone who has worked in or around a supplier to a big consumer company—to a supermarket chain, for example—knows the value of information on shoppers’ preferences. If a supplier can use consumer data to shape its offerings and marketing strategies, it has a significantly better chance of survival than its data-deprived competitors.

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