Sometimes I think back to how we did business five years ago and wonder how anything ever got advanced analytics on a mobile devicedone. We “poked” a lot on social media, we stored data until it got stale, and we only saw 3D at the movies.

I was in Barcelona last week to speak at the White Bull Summit, a conference focused on European innovation and leadership. I look forward to this conference every year because I want to see the new technologies and business models coming out of Europe.

The conference started off by holding a “bull pen,” which puts early stage start-ups on the spot to pitch their companies in just a few moments. The Bull Pen was hosted by Barcelona Activa, a cool startup incubator funded by the Barcelona City Council. And I got to help some of the brightest entrepreneurs in Europe refine their already awesome pitches to the venture community.

Not surprisingly, many of the startups are mobile or cloud-based. But some of the most exciting companies are using advanced analytics as a key part of their business model – whether they sell to consumers, small businesses or enterprises.

For example, Every Angle provides real-time visibility across enterprise supply chains, so that customers can understand how sales orders impact purchasing, inventory and service levels as changes occur. These linkages help businesses build trust with customers by helping them set the right expectations and immediately mitigating issues.

Mint-Labs grabbed a Bully Award for revolutionizing how we understand our brains. They are feeding enormously complex data from thousands of brain scans into an imaging platform that can visualize 3D maps of the brain. These maps help neurosurgeons find the best path into the brain to remove a tumor. It’s kind of like Google Maps for brain surgeons. I know Avatar was epic, but this kind of 3D action lead to unprecedented findings on the functioning of the brain and how we can reverse damage, disease and impairment.

I also got to see Gvidi, another award-winner, serve up restaurant recommendations based on an algorithm that crunches the content on your Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare networks with your personal preferences and other filtered criteria, such as wifi availability and hours of operation.

The startups coming out of Europe today drive home the importance of using data as a foundation for your business strategy. The right view of complete data – at the time it’s needed – drives innovation in business.

For a more complete list of the companies, visit

To find out more about how analytics can power innovation in your business, download “Blueprint for Success: Ingraining Insights into the DNA of People and Process”. Learn how real-time analytics can provide relevant insights to help you understand customers and predict their needs.

While you’re at it, read the white paper “Big Data Comes of Age: Shifting to a Real-Time Data Platform” to see how data and the business insights it can create are driving innovation and competitive advantage.