Corporate strategies should be guided by data-driven analytics, but that doesn't mean obsessing over meticulous measurement and precise planning, says David Kreutter, Pfizer's U.S. operations chief. Analysis is less about seeking single, fixed certainties than about understanding the range of possible consequences for a given action, Kreutter says. "It requires humans to execute these strategies, and each human applies some personal judgment. The beautifully precise answer gets diluted as the strategy gets executed."

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