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Big Data is a goldmine, but it's not always about monetization


Guest blog post by Ritika Puri, corporate entrepreneur

Today's most innovative companies are passively collecting large volumes of data, but this information can be a double-edged sword. If you're not careful, your valuable information can quickly become an out-of-control avalanche that will bury your chances of getting true value out of Big Data.


To get the most value from your data, you need to take a step back and understand the business use cases for the information that you're passively collecting. Why are you collecting data? Is monetization the right path for you? When should you license your data to third parties? When should you incorporate first-party customer data into your paid channel advertising campaigns?


Here are some steps that can help you answer these questions:


Put your data through the "productization test"

Should you license and sell your data? If so, what information will prospective customers find valuable?


Answer these questions from the perspective of your product team. If your data can add value to customers beyond your organization, you likely have an untapped, immediate revenue opportunity in front of you.


Here are a few reasons why a company would want to license your data;

  • To build out more thorough customer profiles
  • To optimize business processes
  • To predict business outcomes
  • To optimize web traffic flows and marketing campaigns
  • To improve features within an app or existing piece of software
  • To prevent criminal activity such as cyberattacks and illegal transactions through credit card systems

    You'll want to test these product use cases internally before bringing your new data products and services to the world. According to this HPE report, "When marketers can understand the attributes of different segments of the market, and how members of each segment react to products, advertising, and promotions, they can tune marketing actions to achieve the best results within each segment." Get a sense of what your customers would want and whether they'd be willing to monetize it. This simple process will help you assess whether monetization is a viable option.


Flesh out your customer account profiles

Account-based marketing is emerging as a major trend among enterprise organizations. The idea is simple: instead of casting your net wide, focus on building deeper relationships with your most valuable and engaged customers.


At the heart of a strong account-based marketing strategy is the ability to build an emotional connection with individuals at scale. The path to achieving this goal involves data—information that your company is already collecting.


Keep in mind that customer-specific data can be difficult to monetize, especially if you're in an industry in which personally identifiable information presents a legal concern. So don't seek to sell it. Instead, enhance your own sales and marketing processes.


Optimize your process

When it comes to deriving value from your data, the cost side of your equation is equally important, but companies are discovering that innovations in the way data is collected and analyzed is making Big Data more accessible and affordable. According to HPE's Colin Mahony, SVP and general manager, Big Data Platform, "For so many of these companies who couldn't afford to find or hire data scientists, the great news is that there are so many more enabling technologies, and they're so much less expensive now." Mahony goes on to note that “the best analytics solutions are the ones where you're not even conscious of the analytics—you're just looking at results and getting the things you need."


Not only are Big Data products more affordable and easy to use than ever—they're better and offer more insights. With access to Big Data products that can help them understand what their data is telling them, enterprises are in a position to ask the right questions and fully benefit from their data.


In addition to using data to carve out new revenue streams, you can also eliminate redundant operations and improve efficiency at the same time. By streamlining the collection and management of information, companies can deploy and maintain multi-node applications without the need for extra load balancing, servers, databases, and virtual machines. IT leaders, instead of focusing on information management, can spend more time analyzing their data and optimizing the performance of their systems.


The first step you need to take

The value of data is multifaceted—you just need to know where and how to apply the information that you're collecting. The best way to get started is to conduct an IT-led, cross-functional audit. Understand the business challenges that different teams within your organization are facing. Analyze the types of data that you're collecting and how that information can help tackle these challenges. In addition to finding ways you can improve and build upon processes, this perspective can help you discover new products to bring to market.


To learn more about how to get the most of your Big Data initiative, read the white paper, The Disruptive Power of Big Data.

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