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Newly appointed Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson made it clear in a conference call with analysts this morning that the company plans to use its data to regain dominance for its media and digital service businesses.

Previously, critics questioned Yahoo’s ability to challenge its rivals and regain market share that was lost over the last few years — leading to lots of speculation about the company’s future. Some reports indicated that Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang was plotting to take the company private. Other reports speculated that Yahoo investors would be pleased with selling off portions of the company, such as Yahoo’s Asian business and valuable patent library.

While a sale of the Asian assets will go forward, Yahoo is buckling down to turn the rest of its business around.

During the call, Thompson said the company’s strategy is to have both excellent technology and excellent content — “not one or the other.” He also pointed out that Yahoo is still a strong brand, and that its properties are visited by over 700 million people around the world. The goal, he said, will be to use Yahoo’s vast data to enhance these visits.

”I feel that this data will be exploitable,” Thompson said, while adding that he’s still got a lot to learn. “My instinct says that down in that data we will find ways to compete and innovate that the world hasn’t seen yet.”

Thompson, who has a background in Information Technology, definitely understands the importance of data, as VentureBeat’s Jolie O’Dell points out in a recent profile post.

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