For Netflix, the DVD delivery and video streaming company, gaining insight into how customers consume and interact with its offerings is the lifeblood of the business. And with 50 million customers in 40 different countries—and about 10 petabytes of data in its warehouse—it has plenty to draw on to find threads of information that could lead to operational efficiencies, new products and better service.

Today, the company collects and analyzes data on everything from audience viewer preferences, to the technical quality of content, to repair service effectiveness. From its data analysis, Netflix knows, for example, that lighter users view more movies than TV shows, while heavier viewers tend to watch more TV shows than movies. Also, it can tell if users stop viewing a show or movie because of audio failures or out-of-sync subtitles. All the while, it can predict which programs users will enjoy based on feedback and reviews.

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