In 1956, considerable fluctuations in production, inventories and profit baffled managers in General Electric’s household appliance division. Despite supervisory efforts, the variations endured. Traditionally, managers blamed these types of fluctuations on external causes, like business cycles.
For enterprise companies, data can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, well-curated and organized data has the potential to unlock great insights, from unexpected customer behaviors to missed market opportunities. On the other hand, poorly handled data can mislead and distract—a problem that only grows with the more data you have at your disposal.