Phil Simon, author of the award-winning book, The Age of the Platform: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Have Redefined Business and the forthcoming, Too Big to Ignore: The Business Case for Big Data (Wiley and SAS Business Series), is joining my Managing Technology and Innovation Management class this week.

We've asked Phil to do a Q&A around business model platforms for innovation (the focus of The Age of the Platform), but I hope he'll also entertain questions around how Big Data fits into an organization's innovation strategy.

Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google all have big data strategies that support their organizational roadmaps and innovative platform business models.

Their ecosystems generate vast volumes of data at high velocity and in a variety of forms (volume, velocity, and variety being hallmarks of big data).

Data savvy managers can help their organizations innovate in a variety of ways. My starter list (and I hope Phil, my students, and you, will add more):

  • Ideas emerge from the data
  • Hypotheses are tested in the data
  • Large scale A/B tests help to evaluate options
  • Use of APIs enable outsiders to add their creativity to the data's analysis (perhaps via Google's BigQuery)

The first step to gaining any value from big data is to create norms around evidence-based management. That is, to have the focus be on the evidence rather than gut feelings.

Do you think our organizations are getting closer to having evidence-based norms be standard? If not, why not?