Ashley Vance's BITS (Business * Innovation * Technology * Society) post in today's New York Times describes how HP uses data for business value.  Both human innovation efforts and business functions are assessed to find value. On the research front:  "They analyze data like patents, published papers and customer interactions to find out where each researcher ranks in the organization."  These same researchers have created business value by creating a tool that assesses Revenue Cost Optimization (RCO).  The tool takes into account supply chain and sales data.   Decisions based on this data change how inventories are managed.  Vance notes, "By using R.C.O. on a regular basis, H.P has cut the number of days it takes to ship computers by about one-third and has saved $300 million over the past three years." We don't know how much it cost to design RCO, or how much it costs to run it -- but I suspect they are in the green. This may be "medium data" (versus big data), but the same thinking applies.  There is value in an overall focus on Evidence Based Management.