Take advantage of the data economy

These massive volumes of data hide insights into consumer behavior, emerging market trends, and even predictions for the future. For organizations, the goal is to understand this rapidly growing amount of data and find innovative ways to extract sustainable value from it, all while managing the consumption of cloud services that support efficient data management and analysis.

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

“There is an absolute explosion of data sources inside and outside the enterprise,” says Channa Seneviratne, executive director of technology and solutions development at Telstra, an Australian telecommunications company. “As a telecommunications company, our customer base and the data it generates is a great asset that we likely won’t be using as effectively as possible.”

But that is changing as Telstra benefits from 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 variety of sources. By connecting offline data across industry boundaries, organizations can extract richer business insights, leverage undiscovered 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.

Sharing perks

So how can organizations participate in the data economy? One way is to eliminate data silos that can prevent companies from extracting compelling insights. Fortunately, more than a third (35%) of survey respondents collaborate with partners to share data. Sharing these data assets helps organizations unlock value and drive significant business outcomes.

For example, 66% of those who share data assets experience improved collaboration with partners and suppliers. It’s easy to understand why. Data exchanges and markets 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 participation in the data economy has led them to create new business models. For example, using IoT-enabled monitoring devices, Telstra offers applications that turn waste, water, air, soil and noise data into actionable insights. By combining this data with microclimate data collected from weather stations, the company plans to provide the Australian agricultural industry with information that can be used in a range of activities, from predicting the health of crop yields to determining pesticide use. “We bring isolated pockets of data together to create more value, insights, and applications,” Seneviratne says. “We are now in a better position to monetize that data and add value.”

Telstra is not alone. According to Kent Graziano, chief technology missionary at 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 actually be useful to other organizations, whether within their own industry or industries Neighboring “.

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

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

“Many organizations collect and analyze data, but it has not been technically feasible and economically effective for them to try to monetize this data,” Graziano says. By sharing data with key stakeholders via cloud-based platforms, such as a data exchange or marketplace, companies can “develop a new revenue stream”.

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

For example, credit card companies can work with healthcare organizations, mobile phone companies, and e-commerce workers to use their integrated data to track and provide care for COVID-19 patients in ways that were not possible as single entities with isolated data sets.

“In the digital economy, how does a 200-year-old enterprise innovate?” asks Sunil Sinan, Senior Vice President and Head of Business for Data and Analytics at Infosys, a digital services and consulting firm, based in Bengaluru, India. “We feel data is a huge 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 driving innovation, more than half (51%) of survey respondents said that participation in the data economy can improve customer acquisition and retention rates – acquiring new customers and retaining existing customers – while 42% of respondents cited increased revenue as an advantage. important business.

download full report.

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

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