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February 2017, Vol. 5, No. 1

Data-driven business models lead the way forward

Data-driven business models have caught fire as companies find ways to use the vast amounts of data they collect to gain a competitive edge. Using data as the primary decision-making tool makes so much sense it's surprising that "data-driven business" is looked upon as a trending term. But dig deep into business decisions and you'll likely find many of those decisions aren't data-driven at all. Traditional company executives still make decisions based on gut instincts and narrow observations. For example, execs might speak to a handful of customers who say they enjoy interacting with the company, and that feedback is taken as gospel even though it probably doesn't represent a broad cross-section of the customer base. That's not to say companies haven't found data useful until now. Data certainly has been an important aid in the decision-making process, but executives have usually placed a higher priority on instincts and unscientific information. As one technology strategist said, "Data informs, but belief rules." The buzz ...

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