Use the data economy


Hidden in these massive amounts of data are insights into consumer behavior, emerging market trends, and even future predictive factors. For organizations, the goal is to find meaning from the rapidly growing amount of data, and to find innovative ways to obtain sustainable value from it, while effectively managing the consumption of cloud services that support 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 indicated that they only use data for basic insights and decision-making. That was a missed opportunity.

“Data sources inside and outside the enterprise have definitely exploded,” said Channa Seneviratne, head of technology development and solutions at Telstra, an Australian telecommunications company. “As a telecommunications company, our customer base and the data it generates is an excellent asset, and we may not be able to use it as efficiently as possible.”

But as Telstra takes advantage of today’s data economy, this situation is changing. The data economy is a global digital ecosystem in which data producers and consumers—companies and individuals—as well as governments and municipal agencies collect, organize, and share accumulated data from various sources. By connecting unconnected data across industries, organizations can gather richer business insights, enter undeveloped markets, provide services to citizens and consumers through data-driven products and services, and communicate with key customers and suppliers externally Share data to achieve data monetization.

Benefits of participation

So how can organizations participate in the data economy? One way is to eliminate data silos, because data silos prevent companies from gathering compelling insights. Fortunately, more than one-third (35%) of respondents are working with partners to exchange data. This sharing of data assets is helping organizations unlock value and achieve important business results.

For example, 66% of people sharing data assets have improved collaboration with partners and suppliers. The reason is easy to understand. Data exchange and markets provide a safe and reliable platform for multiple stakeholders to collect and share information in real time.

More than half (53%) of business leaders stated that their participation in the data economy has enabled them to create new business models. For example, using monitoring equipment that supports the Internet of Things, Telstra provides applications that turn waste, water, air, soil, and noise data into actionable insights. By combining these 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. Seneviratne said: “We are bringing together isolated data to create more value, insights and applications.” “We can now better monetize this data and add value.”

Telstra is not alone. According to Kent Graziano, chief technical evangelist at Snowflake, a data cloud provider in Bozeman, Montana, “As the volume of data grows, many organizations realize that the data they have can actually be useful to other organizations, regardless of Is in their own internal industry or neighboring industries.”

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

By collaborating with healthcare organizations and safely integrating tracking data with other patient and third-party data, medical device manufacturers can establish a new business model as a provider of healthcare information that directly affects the health of patients.

“Many organizations collect data and analyze it, but for them, trying to monetize this data has never been technically and economically feasible,” Graziano said. By sharing data with key stakeholders through cloud-based platforms (such as data exchange or marketplaces), companies can “explore new sources of revenue.”

52% of survey respondents said that another benefit of the data economy is faster innovation. Traditional companies are facing unprecedented pressure from their digitally-native peers and need to innovate and quickly respond to changing customer preferences and market trends. By using data from various external sources, organizations can discover innovative ways to design products, provide services, and even solve world problems.

For example, credit card companies can work with healthcare organizations, mobile phone operators, and e-commerce companies to use their comprehensive data to track covid-19 patients and provide them with care and isolated data sets in ways that a single entity cannot achieve.

“In the digital economy, how do 200-year-old companies innovate?” asked Sunil Senan, senior vice president and head of data and analytics, Infosys, a digital services and consulting company based in Bangalore, India. “We believe that data is an important part of continuing to provide services to customers and finding new ways to stay relevant in a chaotic world.”

In addition to creating new business models and promoting innovation, more than half (51%) of the respondents said that participating in the data economy can increase customer acquisition and retention rates—acquiring new customers and retaining existing customers—while 42% Respondents indicated that increasing income is an important business benefit.

download Full report.

This content was produced by Insights, the custom content department of MIT Technology Review. It was not written by the editors of MIT Technology Review.

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