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The importance of interaction data

Jon Udell's column this morning does a great job of talking to the value of interaction data.  This paragraph seemed to be particularly noteworthy.

I've always liked businesses that made their bones on the basis of "data exhaust", and this speaks precisely to the value of that data in the context of Software as a Service and thin-client applications.

Link: The importance of interaction data | InfoWorld | Column | 2005-10-12 | By Jon Udell.

Discussions of software as a service tend to focus on its obvious benefits: zero-footprint deployment and seamless incremental upgrades. Less noticed, but equally valuable, is the constant flow of interaction data. The back-and-forth chatter between an application and its host environment can be a drag when connectivity is marginal and it precludes offline use. But when this communication flows freely, it paints a moving picture that shows how individuals and groups are using the software. As they watch that movie, developers become intimate observers of their users. They can't help but think of ways to optimize the patterns they discover, and, as a result, the software improves gradually and continuously.

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