In Sloan Mgt Review Thomas Davenport of Babson College and Jeanne Harris of Accenture’s Institute For High Performance Business in What People Want Next (and How to Predict It) show how firms like Amazon.com use unprecedented data and sophisticated technology to inform decisions as never before. Great to see so much being written now about powerful strategic management being driven by data and analysis, not just gut and emotion [has anyone done more to devalue and undermine competent, professional strategic management than Henry Mitzberg I wonder?].
Great use of business intelligence is important and good to see. I would just add though, as I think I’ve noted before, that powerful organizations go beyond predicting what people want – they look for what they could be persuaded to want, then go about developing it and doing the persuading.