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The power of big data is not the data itself but the way companies use it to guide decision-making in all areas of their business. MIT Sloan Management Review put out a research report with some interesting insights about how top performing and lower performing companies use analytics.
It does not come as a surprise that top performers excel at leveraging their data for the best business results; they are 5 times as likely to use analytics as their lower performer peers. A few specific categories on this chart stand out. First, top performers are 7 times as likely to use analytics to guide strategy and business development. It seems almost dangerous not to use data to make decisions related to business strategy because mistakes here lead to consequences for the entire business. The even more revealing statistic is not only that top performers are around 4 times as likely to use analytics in product research and development but that the lower performers are more likely to rely on intuition than analytics.
One of the biggest challenges companies have in implementing analytics is that their data is simply too scattered to organize and process in a time-efficient and powerful manner. But as products become more advanced and the process of making them grows ever more complex, intuition begins to fail in a very big way. Millions of dollars can be lost because products are built with the wrong feature set and don’t meet market needs. Other revenue opportunities are wasted when a product that should have been a company priority gets put on the backburner because of a gut decision made without any support from the data. Companies could avoid many of these mistakes with better information management practices, especially when it comes to product planning and prioritization.