by Angela Guess
Bruce Upbin of Forbes recently discussed a number of companies that reflect gathered customer data back on their customers, or as he puts it, companies that turn their data inside out. Upbin states, "Some companies are already notable champions of the concept, mostly in the interest of personalization. Netflix, for example, takes all of its customers’ viewing habits and movie ratings and runs them through a sophisticated algorithm to generate the 5-star recommendation system tailored for each subscriber. Amazon.com does a form of this, too. Online dating site OKCupid generates a steady stream of often hilarious insights into modern romance by sifting through its user profiles looking for correlations."
Upbin continues, "One of the best practitioners of 'inside out' data is Intuit, the maker of Quickbooks and Turbotax. Intuit captures tons of data of the most sensitive and confidential kind. Some 17.5 million taxpayers used Turbotax online to do their returns this year. Quickbooks has 50 million customers, some 35 million of which use the Web-hosted version. More than 12 million employees at 1.5 million small businesses are accounted for or paid through its software. Intuit CEO Brad Smith is fond of saying that 20% of U.S. GDP is planned through Quickbooks."