Data Mining Applications in SMEs: An Italian Perspective
Keywords:SMEs, data mining, customer relationship management, information technology, knowledge management, big data, Internet of Things
Background: From the last decade, data mining techniques, employed in particular in customer relationship management, have assumed a key role in the profitability and operations of companies. To support small and medium companies (SMEs), several innovative and continuously improving tools have been developed that allow SMEs to utilize the internal and external data sources to increase their competitiveness. Objectives: In this paper, an analysis of the impact of digitalization, and in particular data mining techniques, in the context of SMEs development is presented. Methods/Approach: A review of various sources has been conducted, with the focus on open source tools, since in the context of the Italian economy they are used by SMEs the most. Results: First, the analysis presents a brief review of the data mining techniques available and shows how they are practically employed in small companies. Second, an economical review of investments in data mining projects in Italy is presented. Conclusions: The review indicates that data mining techniques can boost a company in the market. However, the awareness of data mining as a company asset is still not strong in Italian SMEs and most investments in Italy are still carried out by large companies.