How well you use the data that you have at your fingertips is influencing your company's position in the marketplace more than ever. If you are someone who still prefers to make calls from your gut, and akin the big analytics movement to loud kids on your lawn, the times are passing you by. Sure, there is definitely a lot of meaningless noise in all of the numbers you're warehousing, but if you can properly connect the notes you'll soon discover that there's a symphonic beacon playing underneath all of that racket. As Business.com reports in "Big Data is Redefining the Supply Chain: Putting Business Intelligence to Work," the better you can sort your data, the more intelligence, signals, and trends you'll find.
But that doesn't mean we should all become unconditional servants to some sort of numbers overlord, or that hunches and instincts should be thrown out altogether. It's a balance. Not every scenario can be recreated in a spreadsheet. Numbers are merely a jumping off point. The skill is in how you interpret and allocate value to what you find. Sometimes the statistics might lean you toward a certain direction but your experience of seeing that precise situation play out time and time again in the past might be in conflict with the numerical counterpart. If you go too far with numbers, the decisions they manufacture will not translate into how real life plays out. Conversely, if you don't go far enough, you will continue to slowly bleed away money from the same old mistakes. Treat your data cultivation as more of an art than a science to derive optimal decision-making guidance.