Two stories are provided in the November Inc magazine with “big data” and “analytics” used in small/medium-sized businesses at a cost of $1,000/mo and $50/yr respectively.
Starting to look like Moore’s Law applied to software-as-a-service, driving the cost down and the value up!
But regardless of price, the wisdom of building analytics into your business is spot-on. Consumer, or B2B, you need to be collecting data, running experiments, and looking at the results. At a minimum you can increase revenue, and possibly margin.
It is an old (and wise) insight that it is more efficient to sell to an existing customer than it is to recruit a new customer; analytics is the strategy that informs the tactics of doing exactly that.
It is also best when it is more of a lifestyle, than a diet. In other words, don’t look at this as a project (or series of projects)… it should be a core function of your business: collect data, innovate, measure.