Data is the customer’s voice, so you need to pay attention to it in as many ways as possible

Gigaom

The fact that data is important to the running of most businesses, particularly technological ones, is now taken for granted, but how do you integrate the collection and understanding of that data into your company so that it makes a difference? Three fast-growing web companies — Uber, Airbnb and LinkedIn(s LNKD) — talked about the different ways they do this at Gigaom’s Structure Data conference in New York on Thursday.

Riley Newman, the head of the data science group at Airbnb (which is rumored to be raising a new round of financing that could value the company at $10 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal) said that from his perspective “data is the lifeblood of our business — we think of it as the customer’s voice. It’s them telling us what works and what doesn’t work, so we always start with the data.”

Newman said that Airbnb approaches…

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