Leverage the data economy

Hidden within these vast volumes of data is information on consumer behavior, emerging market trends, and even predictors of the future. For organizations, the goal is to make sense of this rapidly increasing amount of data and find innovative ways to derive sustainable value from it, all while efficiently managing the consumption of cloud services that support administration and management. analysis of data.

However, according to a survey of 255 business leaders and decision makers by MIT Technology Review Insights, 45% of respondents say they use data only for basic information and decision making. That is a missed opportunity.

“There is an absolute explosion of data sources both inside and outside the company,” says Channa Seneviratne, a technology and solutions development executive at Telstra, an Australian telecommunications company. “As a telecommunications company, our customer base and the data it generates is a fantastic asset that we may not be using as efficiently as possible.”

But that is changing as Telstra takes advantage of today’s data economy. The data economy is the global digital ecosystem in which data producers and consumers (businesses and individuals) and government and municipal agencies collect, organize and share accumulated data from a wide variety of sources. By connecting unconnected data across industry boundaries, organizations can gain richer business insights, tap into uncharted markets, serve citizens and consumers alike with data-driven products and services, and monetize their data by sharing it externally. with key customers and suppliers.

The benefits of participation

So how can organizations participate in the data economy? One way is to eliminate data silos that can prevent companies from obtaining compelling information. Fortunately, more than a third (35%) of respondents are collaborating with partners to exchange data. This sharing of data assets is helping organizations unlock value and achieve meaningful business results.

For example, 66% of those who share data assets are experiencing better collaboration with partners and vendors. It is easy to understand why. Data exchanges and marketplaces provide multiple stakeholders with a secure and reliable platform to collect and share information in real time.

More than half (53%) of business leaders say that participating in the data economy has led them to create new business models. For example, by using Internet of Things-enabled monitoring devices, Telstra offers applications that convert waste, water, air, soil, and noise data into actionable information. By combining this data with microclimatic data collected from weather stations, the company plans to provide Australia’s agricultural industry with information that can be used for a variety of activities, from predicting the health of crop yields to determining pesticide use. . “We are gathering isolated pockets of data to create more value, insights and applications,” says Seneviratne. “Now we are in a better position to monetize that data and add value.”

Telstra is not alone. According to Kent Graziano, chief technology evangelist for Snowflake, a data cloud provider based in Bozeman, Montana, “As the volume of data grows, many organizations are realizing that the data they have can be useful. for other organizations, either within the industry itself or in adjacent industries. ”

Graziano offers the example of a medical device manufacturer. Medical devices can track and collect critical information about a patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, and insulin levels. But most manufacturers play a minimal role in influencing and shaping patient outcomes.

By partnering with healthcare organizations and securely integrating tracking data with other patient and third-party data, a medical device manufacturer can establish a new business model as a provider of healthcare information with a direct impact on well-being. of the patient.

“Many organizations collect data and analyze data, but it has never been technically feasible and economically efficient for them to try to monetize that data,” says Graziano. By sharing data with key stakeholders through cloud-based platforms such as a data exchange or marketplace, companies can “develop a new revenue stream.”

Another benefit of the data economy is faster innovation, according to 52% of respondents. Traditional companies face unprecedented pressure from their digital native counterparts to innovate and respond quickly to changing customer preferences and market trends. By leveraging data from a wide variety of external sources, organizations can discover innovative approaches to designing products, delivering services, and even solving the world’s problems.

For example, credit card companies could work with healthcare organizations, cell phone operators, and e-commerce operators to use their embedded data to track COVID-19 patients and provide care to them in ways that would not have been possible. as individual entities. with siled data sets.

“In a digital economy, how does a 200-year-old company innovate?” asks Sunil Senan, Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Data and Analytics at Infosys, a digital services and consulting company based in Bengaluru, India. “We believe that data is a big part of continuing to serve customers and finding new ways to remain relevant in a world of disruption.”

In addition to creating new business models and driving innovation, more than half (51%) of respondents say that participating in a data economy can improve customer acquisition and retention rates, winning new customers and retaining existing ones. while 42% of respondents cite increased revenue as a major business benefit.

Download the full report.

This content was produced by Insights, the custom content arm of MIT Technology Review. It was not written by the editorial staff of MIT Technology Review.


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