A confluence of technological advances is making it possible to till fresh discoveries from the explosion of data we’re producing daily, creating space for game-changing innovation in everything from marketing to education. Thanks to data-driven personalized marketing and tracking, the CMO is suddenly emerging as a bigger player in the C-suite, says IBM, which now has the data gurus on its advertising radar. At companies like Xerox, the hiring boss is now an algorithm, better able to pick the best person for the job. Mining through their data, for example, found that a creative personality actually mattered more in a good call center worker than previous experience. With Big Data comes Big Opportunity; a McKinsey study found that retailers leveraging their data to the fullest could increase operating margins by up to 60 percent. Notwithstanding tech leaps, data will be most useful because of the ideas and insights gleaned from it—a task we think is still best reserved for the human brain.