Differentiating your company based on products or cost is near impossible these days, especially in crowded industries. Instead, pull ahead of the pack by using data-collection technology and analysis to get value from all of your business processes. Analytics let you discern not only what your customers want, but how much they're willing to pay and what keeps them loyal. It also arms your employees with the evidence and tools they need to make sound decisions. Start by championing analytics from the top. Acknowledge and endorse the changes in culture, process, and skills that analytics competition requires. Be sure that you understand the theory behind various quantitative methods so you can recognize their limitations. If necessary, bring in experts who can advise on how to best apply analytics to your business.
Source: adapted from Harvard Business Review on Aligning Technology with Strategy