This year, we’re going to see data go from an opaque, untapped, and mystifying asset to a hyper competitive, I-can’t-believe-you-don’t-use-it weapon for businesses. I don’t mean big data; I mean data of any size: big, medium, and small. In fact, it’s not about the amount of data, it’s about the kind of data you have (and, of course, being smart enough to use it). This is all starting to happen because software is being built specifically to analyze lots of data – and it’s no longer cost-prohibitive to use this software, and the insights can fundamentally change the trajectory of your business.
Think of it this way: If you’re chasing after a $10-billion market and your competitor has a way to leverage the data generated by their customers – and you don’t – the odds aren’t in your favor. Chances are, you’re going to fall behind.
The taxi industry is being upended internationally due to the emergence of high-tech companies such as Uber and Lyft. These companies are rapidly taking over the market, and not just because they’re mobile-first. Uber and Lyft are successful because they approach a classic problem – getting from point A to point B – as a mathematical equation with hundreds of potential variables. All of these variables can be tested and improved upon to create the best possible user experience. And the only way they improve that result is by having better data and smarter software. Smarter software begets more customers which begets better data which begets smarter software.