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Data driven is an adjective used to refer to a process or activity that is spurred on by data, as opposed to being driven by mere intuition or personal experience. In other words, the decision is made with hard empirical evidence and not speculation or gut feel. The term is used in many fields, but most commonly in the field of technology and business.
Being data driven means that all decisions and processes are dictated by the data. If data points to sales being down because of brand perception, then specific actions can be taken to reverse that. If data analysis reveals that users of a current generation of mobile device are leaning toward a specific feature, then the next-generation device can make use of that knowledge.
Data driven essentially means that data dictates the actions taken by the ones that execute an event or process. This is most evident in the field of big data, where data and information are the basis of all actions and gathering and analyzing of data is the core motivator. Because data is now easier to gather and inexpensive to store, big data analytics is gaining more ground as the best tool for decision making in the business world. Having so much data gives powerful insight into the world and it allows people to manipulate outcomes because of this.