Leveraging the data economy

Hidden in this massive amount of data is insight into consumer behavior, emerging market trends, and even predictors of the future. For organizations, the goal is to understand this rapidly expanding volume of data and find innovative ways to extract sustainable value from it, while effectively managing the consumption of cloud services that support data management and analytics.

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

“There is an absolute explosive growth in data sources both inside and outside the enterprise,” said Channa Seneviratne, head of technology and solutions development at Australian telecommunications company Telstra. “As a telecommunications company, our customer base and the data it generates is a fantastic asset that we are probably not using as effectively as we could.”

But that is changing as Telstra takes advantage of today’s data economy. The data economy is a global digital ecosystem in which producers and consumers of data – companies and individuals – as well as state and municipal institutions collect, organize and exchange accumulated data from a variety of sources. By connecting unrelated data across industry boundaries, organizations can gather broader business insights, enter uncharted markets, serve both citizens and consumers with data-driven products and services, and monetize their data externally with key customers and suppliers.

Benefits of participation

So how can organizations participate in the data economy? One way is to eliminate the silos of data that can prevent companies from capturing compelling ideas. Fortunately, over a third (35%) of respondents collaborate with partners to share data. This sharing of data assets helps organizations unlock value and achieve significant business results.

For example, 66% of those who share information assets improve collaboration with partners and suppliers. It’s easy to see why. Data exchange and marketplaces provide multiple stakeholders with a secure and reliable platform for collecting and sharing information in real time.

More than half (53%) of business leaders say their involvement in the data economy has led them to create new business models. For example, using IoT-enabled monitoring devices, Telstra provides applications that transform waste, water, air, soil and noise data into actionable insights. By combining this data with climate data collected from weather stations, the company plans to provide the Australian agriculture industry with information that can be used for a range of activities, from predicting crop yields to determining pesticide use. “We combine isolated datasets to create more value, ideas and applications,” says Seneviratne. “We’re now in a better position to monetize this data and add value.”

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

Graziano cites a medical device manufacturer as an example. Medical devices can track and collect important 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 create a new business model as a provider of health information that has a direct impact on patient well-being.

“Many organizations collect and analyze data, but it has never been technically feasible or cost effective for them to try to monetize that data,” says Graziano. By sharing data with key stakeholders through cloud platforms such as data exchange or the marketplace, enterprises 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 partners 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 product development, service delivery, and even solving global problems.

For example, credit card companies can work with healthcare organizations, mobile carriers and e-commerce participants to use their integrated data to track COVID-19 patients and help them in ways that would not be possible as a whole. with disparate datasets.

“How does a 200-year-old enterprise innovate in the digital economy?” asks Sunil Senan, senior vice president and chief commercial officer of data and analytics at Infosys, a digital services and consulting company headquartered in Bangalore, India. “We believe data is an important part of continuing to serve customers and finding new ways to stay relevant in a world of turmoil.”

In addition to creating new business models and spurring innovation, more than half (51%) of respondents say engaging in the data economy can improve customer acquisition and retention rates – attracting new customers and retention of existing ones – while 42% of respondents cite an increase income as an important business advantage.

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This content was produced by Insights, MIT Technology Review’s Custom Content Team. This was not written by the editors of the MIT Technology Review.

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