Reflections on winning with data in business.
Two years ago, in an interview called “The Four Ways IT Is Revolutionizing Innovation,” Erik Brynjolfsson, the Schussel Family Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, told MIT Sloan Management Review how he saw information technology transforming the way companies do business by, among other things, giving companies “radically improved measurement” capabilities through what he called “nano data.” As Brynjolfsson explained:
That [nano data] includes clickstream data, Google [Inc.] trends, detailed e-mail data, the billions and trillions of bits of information that are thrown off by enterprise planning systems. Even without any conscious effort on the part of the designers, this information is just generated. But by studying these data very carefully, companies can have much better knowledge of their customers, of their business processes, of their product quality and of the defects of their supply chains.1
What Brynjolfsson described is indeed coming to pass. In this issue of MIT Sloan Management Review, we’re featuring a number of articles about how companies can put all that data to use to better manage their businesses. In “What Matters Most in Internet Retailing”, David R.