In this digital technology boom, the Internet, wireless networks, social media, cell phones, tablets and more, it’s clear that the growth of informational data about what users value, what they enjoy, and what they buy is huge, and that companies who use big data to better serve their customers will benefit greatly.

According to an article on ComputerWorld.com, “Analysts agree that organizations able to harness data stand to gain a competitive advantage. Web 2.0 companies like Google and Facebook have led the charge into the big data era–data is undeniably their bread and butter, and they have helped to create much of the technology that makes leveraging big data possible. Large enterprises, too, are poised to use big data to take their businesses to new heights. Demand forecasting, targeted marketing, fraud detection, medical research–the list of potential uses is seemingly endless.”

ComputerWorld asks, “But what about the little guy? What about small businesses that do not have the resources to harness big data technology like their large enterprise competitors do? Will big data create a new form of digital divide?

No, says Intuit President and CEO Brad Smith. Instead, Smith says that (with Intuit’s help) big data enables a new “data democracy” that will help small business owners and consumers use data as effectively as their large competitors.”

“Big data has long been seen as a big opportunity for big business,” Smith says. “We actually think that the biggest opportunity is giving consumers and small businesses the power of data. We look forward to a new era where big data benefits the little guy.”

ComputerWorld reports that “for businesses, Smith believes that digital data will help  spark a return to the era when neighborhood merchants knew their customers and could anticipate their needs.”

“We believe data is the Moneyball for small business,” Smith says, referring to the book  by Michael Lewis, recently released as a movie starring Brad Pitt. “It levels the playing field. It’ll bring back the days of the local merchant who knew everything about you and was able to greet you by name with special recommendations based on your purchase habits. It’s going to help small businesses operate more efficiently and enable local entrepreneurs to compete effectively with a company of any size anywhere around the globe.”

If you have a small business and would like to learn more about using big data, please contact RACK59.