The Dawn of “Big Data” for Dealers

February 15, 2012

If you haven’t seen it yet, “The Age of Big Data” in The New York Times is well-worth the read. The piece examines how data is becoming a new guide for decision-making in business and shaping our culture. I couldn’t help but think of how “Big Data” touches automotive retailing already—whether it’s knowing the “right” vehicle and price for your dealership and market or understanding the online browsing/shopping history of your customers.

The article offered two quotes that I found highly relevant for dealers as “Big Data” becomes a greater reality for all of us to mind and manage:

“It’s a revolution,” says Gary King, director of Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science. “We’re really just getting under way. But the march of quantification, made possible by enormous new sources of data, will sweep through academia, business and government. There is no area that is going to be untouched.”



Professor Erik Brynjolfsson, an economist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, says business decisions will increasingly be based on data and analysis rather than on experience and intuition. “We can start being a lot more scientific,” he observes.