Today, businesses of all sizes use analytics. Take my favorite fruit vendor, for example. If you ask why he stopped selling in our neighborhood market, he’ll tell you it’s because shoppers at that particular market are prone to negotiation, causing him to lose money. At the market across town, on the other hand, he’s found great customers for whom he provides excellent service.

This is the heart of analytics. This fruit vendor tested servicing in my neighborhood and realized he was losing money. How many businesses today know who their most profitable customers are? Do they know who their most expensive customers are? Even if they understand this data, have they built targeted efforts to acquire more of the most profitable customers?

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