Why Data Matters

What’s your emotional reaction when you hear the word “data”?

Stress? Fear? Frustration?

Fortunately, data and analytics don’t have to be scary. In fact, it can be fun, or at least interesting, if you know how to turn all those numbers and reports into actionable intel, you can use to grow your business.

Data comes in two flavours: not enough and too much. The challenge most people struggle with is how to turn numbers into meaningful decisions. Static numbers, in and of themselves, are meaningless. So why would you want to do analytics?

To understand the answer, let’s review some examples:

The Oakland A’s Athletics Club

Billy Beane took over as the General Manager of the Oakland A’s in 1997. There, he applied statistical analysis (known as sabermetrics) to players, radically changing the way they acquired players.

Beane’s approach was to focus on specific metrics, such as batting and runs, to find undervalued players no one else was noticing. This approached made the Oakland A’s one of the most cost-effective teams in baseball and carried them through 20 consecutive wins, playoffs, and even the world series. Essentially, data made the A’s competitive with much bigger clubs while working on a budget a third of the size.


Netflix’s core belief is that customization wins customer loyalty, a belief that puts data at the center of their corporate strategy. When they were still a DVD rental company, Netflix invested heavily in data mining technology to develop a movie recommendation algorithm, leading the way in using data to provide a great customer experience. And it worked. Recommendations drove 50% of their traffic.

After adopting a streaming model, this data-first approach continued, and it’s made them one of the top streaming video-on-demand services available. Today, it’s giving them the customer insight they need to create massively successful original content like Daredevil, House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.

Netflix’s data gives them the insight to develop massively successful content.


Digital Marketer. (n.d.). The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing. Course Hero. Retrieved January 25, 2022, from https://www.coursehero.com/file/94978188/Ultimate-Guide-to-Digital-Marketingpdf/