CIO Magazine has a good article on Intuit's "Big Data for the Little Guy" initiative. This ongoing effort will create a series of products and services that allow small businesses and consumers to make their own queries on Intuit's extensive business and consumer data.
This effort is an excellent example of the broader trend towards the democratization of Big Data, which will empower small businesses and individuals with analytical capabilities and insights once only available to giant corporations.
The key driver of this shift is the power of inexpensive cloud-based data and analytical tools. Small business will tap these tools and data sets to better organize and analyze their business and improve results.
Consumers will also benefit, by having access to meaningful data-driven insights to help them evaluate risk and opportunity in their lives.
Until very recently, government agencies and large corporations dominated the discussions around Big Data. Size determined the digital data “haves” and “have-nots,” with the haves consisting of those who could afford significant investments to build,collect and analyze large datasets.
But just as the PC and the Internet created new opportunities for small businesses and allowed them to compete with larger firms, so will the democratization of Big Data.
Disclosure: Intuit is an Emergent Research (that's us) client.