There are a number of buzzwords that are always at the forefront of the tech industry. One is "big data," which has been said so often and in so many different contexts that it may be difficult for owners to understand exactly what it means.

However, the technology can provide almost any business with improvements. Depending on the extent of their investments, owners and operators can see small or large changes, both of which can help them better develop new methods of expanding their companies.

Improvements possible despite low rates of knowledge
Too many people still don't know about the benefits of big data. Up to 41 percent of small business owners have said using the technology is too costly, while 42 percent didn't have the time to use it and 35 percent hadn't even considered its possibilities, according to Neilsen.

That said, there are plenty of benefits in the technology. In various contexts, it can be used to conduct market research or gain new insight about a customer base. Some uses can see it directly improve business practices.

The technology also gives small businesses the means to gain the resources of larger companies for a fraction of the cost. They can track shopping trends, respond to any necessary chances in real time and even predict problems before they occur by monitoring website traffic and general business data.

Big data can come from anywhere
Monitoring business and customer activity is easy to implement as well, Business News Daily added. There's no need to worry about expensive software – one possible way to harness big data comes from Google Analytics, which collects long-term data to reveal trends such as how long visitors stay on your website or what posts have the best effects on social media traffic.

Other services can extract data from different sources like credit card transactions to monitor sales performance and customer segments and account history, showing which types of consumers are most likely to make return visits for specific products. It's expected that gaining access to this information, as well as other possibilities in the market, will stand to help these investments pay for themselves in short periods of time.

IT and tech industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in information technology equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.