Shifting the Balance by Mark Schrutt, ECW Press

Shifting the Balance : How Top Organizations Beat the Competition by Combining Intuition with Data

Schrutt, Mark

  • Digital transformation expert Mark Schrutt reveals how the world’s top companies are using vast amounts of data to inform their decisions, disrupt industries, and get closer to their customers. Businesses that continue to rely only on intuition do so at their peril.

    What if you had the data you always wanted and could tell what was truly an emerging trend that would forever change your industry? Shifting the Balance analyzes the turn towards data-driven decision-making and describes how best-in-class organizations use data to shift their field of vision so it is forward-looking instead of reactive. Case studies with practical examples of how leading businesses address key challenges on the path to becoming data-driven include:

    • How companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Land O’Lakes, whose industries are defined by resellers, are connecting directly with their customers to improve satisfaction and relevancy
    • How data-driven decision-making shaped the largest one-sided deal in sports, paying the owners of a team that did not play a game for 40 years over $800 million
    • How companies such as Peloton and UberEats are using data-driven decision-making to disrupt and reimagine the fitness and restaurant industries
    • What professional sports franchises such as the Oakland A’s, Philadelphia Eagles, and Toronto Maple Leafs can teach us about using data in game-changing business decisions

    Shifting the Balance offers a roadmap that will enable organizations to make better business decisions that drive even better results, and provides a fascinating read along the way.


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  • Mark Schrutt (Toronto, ON) is a 30-year veteran of the information technology industry. His work as vice president at the leading tech research firm IDC established Mark as one of the foremost analysts and consultants on digital transformation. He is the author of over 200 IDC industry reports.

  • Published: April 2021

    ISBN: 9781770415744

    Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.

    Pages: 256

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“An illuminating dive into the global datasphere.” — Publishers Weekly

“Mark Schrutt calls it as I have seen it working with large organizations who want to be data-driven: ‘Without direction from the top and management leading by example you will never get there.’” — Bill Morris, retired President and CEO, Accenture Canada

“The business world is moving so quickly and there is little time to get up to speed. Data is the big equalizer, allowing you to go from last to first, helping to even the odds and put you in the lead. Shifting the Balance is a key source for guidance on preparing for the future.” — Tony Olvet, Group Vice President, Research, IDC

“How do you make better decisions? By having better sources of data and understanding how to use them. Shifting the Balance is an important contribution to the decision-making process for executives at all levels, whether in the public or private sector.” –– Marcel Wieder, President, Aurora Strategy Group

Shifting the Balance is an invaluable guide for what I believe is an inevitable future — where better decisions are made based on facts and where real-time data-driven companies will create overwhelming competitive barriers.” –– Lars Goransson, SVP and Managing Director, IDC Canada

“Data is the new oil, but you need to extract, process, refine, and distribute it. It is easier said than done. Shifting the Balance puts the pieces together to drive value from your data assets.” — Bill Whitelaw, CEO, Glacier Resource Innovation Group

“Decision-making is being redesigned, from who makes decisions to what type of data to leverage, with faster speed and accuracy. If business leaders don't make this change, they will be left out and left behind. Shifting the Balance is a go-to handbook for the prescient leader willing to embrace new decision-making methods.” — Jim McDade, Chief Operating Officer, Aware360

“With farming, if you are not taking advantage of data in decision-making, you will be left behind. Technology will not replace people but those who use data and technology will replace the ones that don’t. Shifting the Balance provides an excellent blueprint for companies to get up to speed quickly in the digital era.” –– Teddy Bekele, SVP and Chief Technology Officer, Land O’Lakes Inc.

“AI brings business to a new level. It allows for more accurate, data-driven predictions and, more importantly, decisions that enable both organizations and people to win. Shifting the Balance captures the importance of AI to help guide and provide insight to decision makers on this journey.” –– Steve Irvine, Founder and CEO,