Sifting through tons of data used to be a task left to computer whizzes and weathermen. But mining for insights has gotten faster and cheaper, and businesses from ad agencies to grocery stores will gather in Santa Clara, California, to discuss turning data into dollars. Carol McCall and her team at insurance giant Humana looked at claims and health studies to pinpoint how to tailor drug cocktails to avoid bad reactions, which cost the firm $500 million in claims in one year. With big-data analytics, McCall says, “you can solve things that we couldn’t even see before.” — RACHEL ARNDT
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