Data and Strategy
Data, data everywhere, but how to use it? Typing any topic into a search engine yields links to free, downloadable data on thousands of topics. Data analysis existed long before the rise of big data and the buzzwords associated with its use in the recent 2010’s. Data availability
expanded exponentially after the growth of pervasive internet usage and the rise of social media. Public data (like U.S. Census data) existed in the but with limited accessibility. The abundance of market data rose directly from the willingness of individuals to share personal data, in the form of photographs, opinions and lifestyle habits freely with the world in open platforms. Companies gather and sell massive amounts of data and the analytics profession expanded as open access to software and complex algorithms facilitated the analytical process.
Given this eruption in the landscape of analytical tools, the remaining question focuses on how to best use the data and analysis that appear, at times, to be instantly available. Free markets and the capitalist system promote maximizing profits for the owners which translates into minimizing costs and maximizing sales. Data, when used correctly, provides competitive insight and the opportunity to recognize the reshaping of an industry as it unfolds. In turn, the firm’s ability to adapt and align itself to a changing environment via flexible decision-making and internal agility maximizes the positive impact of the volumes of new information.