8 Ways To Monetize Data - InformationWeek
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1/22/2016
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Lisa Morgan
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8 Ways To Monetize Data

Data may be a company's most valuable asset, but few are maximizing its economic benefit. Here eight ways that organizations are deriving real, bottom-line value from their data.
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(Image: Geralt via Pixabay)

(Image: Geralt via Pixabay)

Data is the new currency. Armed with it, new companies are disrupting established industries, and traditional businesses are transforming the way they operate. Not all organizations are equally adept at translating data into dollars, but their ability to do so is impacting their ability to compete.

"Where knowledge is power, data is wealth. It's not intrinsic in the data, it's what you do with it," said Bruce Daley, an analyst at market intelligence firm Tractica and author of Where Data Is Wealth: Profiting From Data Storage in a Digital Society. "The companies that are most progressive in thinking about data differently are the companies that are changing the economy, like Google and Uber. Most businesses lag way behind in terms of the idea that data could be their primary reason for being."

Some businesses, such as information service providers, have always been about deriving value from data. However, the ability to use and monetize data is now impacting almost every type of business. As a result, driving value from data must now be contemplated as part an overall business strategy.

[Read about machine learning and AI trends for 2016.]

"The organizations that are doing this well are trying to address a business problem at hand, not a data problem at hand," said Dan DiFilippo, global & US data and analytics leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), in an interview. "You have to look at the problem you're trying to solve, whether that's expanding into a new market, trying to leverage more from existing customers, or acquiring new customers or employees. Then you can start looking at how data plays into to that."

Most organizations realize they have a wealth of data -- but not all of them are able to realize its potential value because technological and cultural challenges often stand in the way. Even though more lines of business are better at leveraging their data for their own purposes than they once were, the value of the data from an enterprise perspective may not yet be fully realized. Data quality issues are common. In addition, compliance, privacy, and security issues may limit the ways in which the data can be used.

"I think the piece a lot of folks miss is: You need to understand the business so you can understand the value of the data and then [you can] monetize it," said Young Bang, VP of the civil health business at Booz Allen Hamilton, in an interview.

Here are some ways to positively impact the bottom line using data.

Lisa Morgan is a freelance writer who covers big data and BI for InformationWeek. She has contributed articles, reports, and other types of content to various publications and sites ranging from SD Times to the Economist Intelligent Unit. Frequent areas of coverage include ... View Full Bio

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CuseOrange87
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CuseOrange87,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/6/2016 | 11:40:01 AM
Re: Sysiphean work
There are some concrete examples of practical big data monetization/industry use in the marketing technology world, where companies like Adobe and Circulate monetize data for publishers and platforms very effectively
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
2/6/2016 | 4:46:25 PM
Re: Sysiphean work
Yes, I can totally see that. Data has no purpose unless it can be applied to a human issue, unless it can answer a real question. I wonder how often analysts are surprised by the results even after the data is accurate and is applied to an algorithm or designed program.
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
2/6/2016 | 4:15:28 PM
Re: Sysiphean work
The tools help. Then, the human looks to see if what the computer identified makes sense. The tool is important, but not the part of the equation. A good analyst with a good tool and good criteria can make far better decisions than with any of those key pieces missing.
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
2/6/2016 | 4:12:52 PM
Re: Sysiphean work
Ah, I see.

And do you have to review the data in context to get the effect? Does the initial plan help?
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
2/6/2016 | 4:09:19 PM
Re: Sysiphean work
That's the problem with analyzing only raw data points using algorithms. You can only see patterns, not what those patterns might mean. Causation requires experience and logic to think about whether one action really can reliably affect another. That's the human part of the process. We ask, "Does this really make sense?" Or are both correlated items really the effects of something completely different. This is partly why the role is called a data "scientist."
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
2/6/2016 | 3:22:58 PM
Re: Sysiphean work
Even if a pattern is somewhat consistent but the variables don't have a cause and effect relationship, you can't use them to make business decisions.

And you can see the cause and effect in the data?
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
2/6/2016 | 1:39:00 PM
Re: Sysiphean work
When looking at large data sets, there will be patterns that appear to be there but don't mean anything. Even if a pattern is somewhat consistent but the variables don't have a cause and effect relationship, you can't use them to make business decisions. That is a trap of big data and algorithm analysis. Look up the Parable of Google Flu to see how computer date analysis can lead to misleading results.
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
2/6/2016 | 1:20:38 PM
Re: Sysiphean work
@jagibbons what do you mean by this?

There are countless naturally correlations that have no causal relationship.
soozyg
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50%
soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
2/6/2016 | 1:18:54 PM
Re: Pricing
For example, my daughter recently bought a dress for a school dance. On the designer's website it was something like $179. On Amazon, it was something like $30. Crazy!

Also, I did some research for my mother's business, which is homemade luxury faux fur quilts. The prices ranged from $15 to thousands.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2016 | 8:54:13 AM
Re: Sysiphean work
I agree with you. Without a proper plan it is not worth of having data. It is important to see what you need to do with the data.
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