Every purchase from Amazon, every search on Google and every download from Apple’s iTunes store make a tiny addition to the stock of valuable data that each of those companies successfully use to drive their competitive advantage.

Each has pioneered ways to turn data into dollars by using it to create and target personalized offers, messages and services for their customers. And not only does the data allow those companies to develop and enhance the services they offer to customers, but it also enables them to negotiate more favorable deals with suppliers and partners.

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