Data Breakthroughs That Changed the Game
Data is a game changer. 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day – and the data comes in all shapes and sizes. Long gone is the notion that data is just for reporting, or collecting. Mix some innovative understanding of data with some good old-fashioned diligence, and voila – you’ve got a game changer.
In 1989, physicist Tim Berners-Lee had an idea to create a single information network that would enable his co-workers to share all the computer-stored data at his laboratory. He was frustrated that access to existing data was so difficult, as it was stored only on particular machines that required additional programming knowledge just to login. Berners-Lee envisioned a collaborative environment where people working together could design something in a common, shared space.
The very first website – ever – documented the project that followed. Berners-Lee’s breakthrough was born from the basic notion to improve access to data. He married hypertext to the Internet and thus was born the World Wide Web.
Sam Walton had an idea that a successful business could be built around offering lower prices and great service. Well-known for data-hungry walks around his own stores and those of his competitors, he relentlessly recorded any bit of information that could help his retail store gain a strategic edge and maintain a commitment to its customers to offer lower prices. He studied shelf heights, aisle width, product displays and customer buying habits and trends. He even crashed a car once as he studied traffic patterns in a rival’s parking lot!
Walton’s breakthrough understanding that every piece of data contains valuable information, helped established his company, Walmart as the largest retailer in the world, and a global leader of information technology innovation.
Today at Walmart, data drives every decision to open a new store, bring in an extra truck full of product, or roll back prices. Walmart’s data warehouse measures well over 2.5 petabytes—larger than all research universities in the United States combined.
NRAI, a registered agent services firm, wanted to identify its most promising sales targets, and had prospect data in its vast coffers – but this data didn’t tell enough to solve the puzzle. So the company took a step back, and looked at its information in a new way. NRAI mashed public data with its own to find families of companies that would provide much more bang for the sales bucks. The names of ten companies may have been different, but NRAI discovered direct links between these companies by cross-referencing data sets that had never before spoken to each other. As the analysis continued, linkages poked through, revealing masses of ripe prospects.
Sales grew exponentially, and NRAI realized a 5,000% return on its data mining investment.
Understanding the value of data creates business intelligence. Get smart. Change your game. Follow your data as it flows through your business and discover hidden insights. Find your business breakthrough.