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10 Types of Data-Driven Business

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Data-driven business is the use of data to improve strategy, planning and operations. This is a basic technique that applies to all industries and is the primary value added by information technology. The following are common types of data-driven business.


The use of data to automate work such as business processes. For example, sales data can be used to automatically order inventory.


Business analysis typically relies on data to produce strategies, requirements and plans. For example, a business analyst might use customer surveys to develop a business case to remove an unpopular product feature.

Decision Support

Applications that provide employees with the data they require to make decisions. For example, a salesperson might prioritize their efforts by looking at customer data in a CRM.


Tools for exploring data to find useful patterns. For example, a business analytics tool that allows a marketing team to look at price versus sales data by demographic and product.


Metrics are measurements of business performance that are widely used to evaluate and optimize strategy and operations. For example, availability rate is commonly used to manage the reliability of services.


Benchmarking is the process of comparing your results to a competitor, industry or standard.


The process of reporting data such as metrics or status on a regular basis. Considered a basic type of internal control.

Market Research

The process of acquiring more data. Common in areas such as branding and product development that requires an understanding of customer needs, perceptions and the competition.


Using data as an optimization tool in areas such as marketing and operations. For example, a manufacturer may examine manufacturing control data to identify bottlenecks on a production line.


The process of experimenting to generate data. For example, a retailer may try different types of coupons at different locations to compare results.
Overview: Data-Driven Business
The use of data to improve strategy, planning and operations.
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A few examples of benchmarking.

Benchmarking Definition

A definition of benchmarking.

Internal Benchmarking

The common types of internal benchmarking.

Baseline vs Benchmark

The difference between a baseline and a benchmark.

Functional Benchmarking

A definition of functional benchmarking with examples.

Best In Class

A definition of best in class with examples.

Competitive Benchmarking

A definition of competitive benchmarking with examples.

Cycle Time

A definition of cycle time with examples.

Business Benchmarks

The common types of business benchmark.

Market Share Analysis

A guide to market share analysis with examples.


An reasonably comprehensive list of metrics.

Marketing Metrics

A list of common ways to measure marketing results.

IT Metrics

A list of commonly used IT metrics.

Innovation Metrics

How to measure innovation including early stage, late stage and overall program metrics.

Metrics vs Measurements

The difference between a metric and a measurement.

Labor Productivity

How to calculate labor productivity with examples.

Cost Effectiveness

A definition of cost effectiveness with example calculations.
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