As a business owner and marketer, I can think of no greater right of passage than to truly let go of “faith” in lieu of empirical evidence.

For those of you who have been transformed, seen the data “light”, I congratulate you. For those of you still clinging to faith and your guess-work initiatives (that John Wanamaker so famously spoke of), allow me to share a glimpse of what it’s like on the other side (where the grass truly is greener).

– Gone are the days of guessing what the “right” offer, promotion or message is.

– Gone are the days of speculating about what the next big idea needs to be.

– Gone are the days of guessing what the best creative execution, color scheme, imagery and font should be.

– No more sampling of a microscopic subset of the population to determine what the masses want.

– No more small focus groups laced with leading questions and rife with group-acceptable responses.

– No more strategies, visions and products born out of HIPPOs (highest paid person’s opinions).

Everything you do is born from empirical evidence. Every decision you make is data-driven. Your chi is like, so centered right now!

Data has always existed, but the ability to more effectively collect, accurately measure and extract meaningful insights is relatively new. This data version 3.0 emerged in tandem with the rise of the Internet. In 1993, only 50 pages existed on the World Wide Web1. Today, there are over 116 million pages being indexed on Google alone for the term, “web analytics”. The number of analytics solutions, data-mining companies and companies hiring analytical minds is sharply on the rise. This explosive growth and race to true accountability is changing the way we operate and compete. It’s no longer a luxury but more so a necessity.. Operating on sound data-driven decision-making is imperative to survival in this new order.

1United Nations Data, 1994