Measure What Matters for a Network Business

Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.

—Peter Sondergaard, senior vice president, Gartner Research

AMAZON.COM HAS WHAT JEFF BEZOS CALLS A “CULTURE OF METRICS.” Amazon tracks its performance against about five hundred measurable goals, nearly 80 percent of them related to customer objectives. It gathers so much data about customers that it eschews classic customer segments—“millennial outdoorsman,” “preteen fashionista”—in favor of segments of one: you.

When a visitor comes to, she’s greeted with a home page covered in personal recommendations tailored to her and based on her browsing history, purchase history, and Amazon’s best guesses ...

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