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Putting the Science in Management Science

In an interview that is part of SMR's new series examining "The New Intelligent Enterprise," MIT's
Andrew McAfee, author of Enterprise 2.0, explores how evolving technology and the data deluge can
enable companies not only to be smarter, but to act smarter, too. McAfee focuses special attention on the needed development by organizations of what he calls a scientific mind-set. Consider the consequences, he says, of ongoing rapid increases in computing power, storage capacity, communications speed and instrumentation (sensor technology that enables data capture)--all of which add up to not only a data deluge but a deluge of new opportunities to parse what information means and how to act on it.

"One of the single biggest changes that I see coming," says McAfee, "is that when you have this unbelievable amount of horsepower and a mass of data to apply it to, you can be a lot more scientific about things. You can be a lot more rigorous in your analysis. You can generate and test hypotheses. You can run experiments. You can adopt a much more scientific mind-set." Companies that don't migrate in that direction, McAfee adds, had better hope that their competitors aren't heading there, either. "Because
when you compare scientific to pre-scientific approaches, there's one clear winner over and over."
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