Max Engel of HypeBot recently identified the smart use of data as one of three major trends currently shaping the future of product development. He writes, “The role that data plays goes beyond analytics. Open platforms and API’s allow for the creation of product mash-ups that have broken down barriers to content availability. One cannot underestimate the brilliance of platform-focused companies like SoundCloud and Spotify that allow innovation to occur rapidly and unfettered. Similarly, structured data is going to be increasingly impactful. Facebook’s Open Graph, for example, projects the foundation for the oft-mentioned semantic web.”

He continues, “The music industry must embrace this trend in order to embed meaning and value in the very fabric of the Internet. These vast amounts of data provide new ways of personalizing content that goes beyond the music recommendations offered by services like Pandora and companies like The Echo Nest. Data can no longer simply be a result of building products; it must also become a building block. However, sites must use caution when interpreting data, otherwise they may fall into the trap of making data-driven products which place too much emphasis on quantitative analysis over qualitative intuition. In the coming years, sites must continue to learn how to best leverage data to make data-informed decisions.

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Image: Courtesy Flickr/ Nick Briz